Divorcees win the right to reopen settlements

In the recent landmark cases of Sharland and Gohil the Supreme Court granted the appeals of two wives asking for financial settlements agreed after their divorce to be reconsidered by the Family Courts.


In the both cases the parties had reached an agreement for a financial settlement. Both, at a later time (with ink barely having dried on the agreement in Mrs Sharland’s case) discovered that their husband’s had not fully disclosed their financial position.


Previously, if the disadvantaged party could not demonstrate that, even if the husband was found to have lied, the order made would not be substantially different from that agreed the terms could not be revisited. This, unsurprisingly, led to perceived miscarriages of justice where the lying party ‘got away with it’.


In Sharland and Gohil it was held that, if a party lies about, or misrepresents their, financial position in the course of proceedings, it is unjust for a victim of fraudulent misrepresentation in a matrimonial case be treated differently from a victim of fraudulent misrepresentation in a standard contract dispute.


Consequently, “fraud unravels all” and will likely lead to the setting aside of a consent order procured by fraudulent misrepresentation.


If you think your partner may have lied or misrepresentations in reaching financial settlement please contact one of team on 01656 645525 or 02920 345511 or to arrange a consultation. We have an experienced team of solicitors that specialises in divorce and family cases from our offices in Bridgend and Cardiff.