October 31, 2014

The price of porkies: How atrociously people can behave when involved in an acrimonious divorce

By the date of the final hearing the separating couple had together spent a total of £1,250,000 out of a liquid asset base of £4,500,000! In addition both parties had behaved in a disgraceful way so that the husband had “contaminated” the proceedings by failing to disclose an account with approximately $840,000 in it, while the wife sold a property at an under-value of £1,000,000 and pocketed the proceeds.

So what did the Court do?

The judge ’re-allocated‘ £1,000,000 to the asset base even though it had been spent and made an Order that the husband pay 75% of the wife’s costs to reflect his dishonesty. Ironically enough and despite what the wife had done the judge was forced to conclude that because her needs were not met from a half share of the remaining assets there shouldbe an adjustment in her favour anyway.

The lesson of this story is to make sure that the court and your opponent have full details of your financial circumstances. No sensible decision can be reached unless this duty is complied with and if it is not, then it is highly likely (depending upon the significance of what has not been disclosed) that any Order will be successfully challenged. It‘s also important to ensure that as little money as possible is spent on litigating a case otherwise all that happens is that the lawyers’ pockets are lined to the family’s detriment.

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