Divorcees win Supreme Court battle

Two ex-wives have successfully won the right to re-negotiate their divorce settlements. Ms Sharland and Mrs Gohil both found out, some years after divorce, that their husbands had lied about their wealth.

Ms Sharland divorced in 2010. Her ex-husband was a software entrepreneur and at the time of divorce, she accepted 10 million and 30% of the proceeds of shares held by her ex-husband in his company if he sold them. She did so on the understanding and belief that this was 50% of her ex-husband overall wealth.

At the time of the divorce settlement, Mr Sharland lied to the Court about the value of his company and deliberately concealed his plans to float his company on the stock market.

Ms Sharland appealed to the Court of Appeal on the basis that she had been deliberately misled but the Court of Appeal rejected her case stating that even though Mr Sharland had lied, he had not lied so much about his wealth as to make a significant difference.

Ms Sharland appealed to the Supreme Court asking for a decision to be made about the impact of her ex-husband fraud on financial cases decided within a divorce. The Court agreed with her that the case should be looked at again, with Lady Hale stating in her Judgment that Ms Sharland had been eprived of a full and fair hearingbecause of er husband fraud

Ms Sharland case will now return to the High Court for the Court to look at the distribution of wealth all over again.

Mrs Gohil divorce settlement in 2002 involved a payment to her of 270,000.00 and a car. In 2010 her ex-husband, a solicitor, was convicted of money laundering and imprisoned for 10 years. During his 2010 criminal trial evidence was submitted to the Court that he had lied about his true wealth in divorce proceedings.

The Supreme Court has agreed with Mrs Gohil request that the case should be passed to the High Court for the Court to look at the distribution of wealth again.

Asking the Court to look again at a financial divorce settlement is a complex legal process. It is important that you get expert legal advice before making any such application to the Court. To find out more, contact Emsleys Family Law team on 0113 201 4900 for a free, no obligation consultation.

Gabbie  Clasper

Written by

Gabbie Clasper

Head of Family Law

Gabbie has over 20 years’ experience in family law. She has expert knowledge in complex issues including financial aspects following divorce; pre and post-nuptial agreements; cases with an international element; and civil partnerships. Gabbie is regularly instructed by clients based across the country and abroad. She...

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