A husband who failed to disclose all his assets when negotiating a divorce settlement has been ordered to pay his wife an extra £1.6m.
The couple were both teachers when they got married in 1984. The husband began a business in 1988. He owned 99 of the 100 shares and his wife had the other one.
He stopped teaching in 1990 to concentrate on the company, while the wife continued teaching and helped in the business. The couple had three children by the time they separated in 2002. The husband moved out of the family home and she took no further part in the business.
In 2006, the husband paid the wife £150,000 following their divorce, but she did not sign the deed of settlement that had been drafted.
A meeting conducted by a solicitor who had previously acted for the husband recorded that the wife’s acceptance of the proposed deal was conditional on full disclosure.
In 2013, she applied for a financial remedy order. The judge concluded that there had been no full and final settlement, and that the husband had not provided the wife with full disclosure.
The husband was ordered to pay his wife a lump sum of £1.6m and to transfer 25% of his pension policies and shares to her.
That decision has been upheld by the Court of Appeal. It said it was beyond argument that the wife had a valid claim. The two parties had made equal contributions to the marriage before separation and the wife had played an important role in the business during its infancy.
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