When is a divorce settlement not actually settled?

In a ground-breaking supreme court judgement, two women who claimed their husbands had misled the court over their financial worth won the right to have their settlements re-examined.
The decision hinged on the grounds that failure to disclose financial assets constitutes dishonest or fraud. So, the bench of seven justices ruled that the women’s previous agreement should be renegotiated, despite the ex-husbands contesting their claims.


running for money bag vector illustration Mk2RpAPO L In the case of mother of four Varsha Gohil, her ex-husband was described as an “Out-and-out rogue involved in financial criminality on an eye-watering scale”. Ten years ago, Varsha had accepted a settlement of £270,000 plus a car.


In contrast, Alison Sharland had accepted £10.23million in cash and property three years ago from her ex-husband Charles, owner of the company AppSense. However, the company’s worth was considerably more than claimed, estimated to be worth just under £50million. An earlier hearing has found that Mr Sharland had “laid a false trail by his dishonest evidence.”


While the two rulings might seem to pave the way for the reopening of agreements by disgruntled ex-spouses, they will more likely act as a deterrent to any party trying to mislead over their net worth. What the rulings show is that any dishonesty or false declaration will come back and bite you. It sends a strong message that there would be severe repercussions for lying or misleading the court about the value of assets.


However, as with so many aspects of divorce there are other considerations to bear in mind before taking court action. At Leiper Gupta Family Lawyers, we will guide you through the process of appealing against a former decision and the acquisition of proof. We’ll also be realistic about the costs involved, and the possible levels of success, depending on your personal circumstances.

Above all, we will bear in mind the overall impact on you and your children. As Gohil herself said after the ruling was made:

“There are absolutely no winners in divorce and more than a thought has to be given to the children of families locked in this type of litigation. The price they pay is a very heavy one. The emotional strain of it is huge on everyone, the drain in financial resources is enormous and none of it serves the family.”


At LGFL, we take considerable care to mitigate the effect of court action on you and your family, while always acting in your best interests. It’s a delicate balance sometimes, and one we work hard to maintain with all our clients.

If you feel your settlement did not properly reflect the true value of your spouse at the time, or suspect that full details are not being disclosed, call us for a no obligation 30-minute appointment to discuss your case.