Dishonesty In Divorce Settlement

8 September, 2014

One of the more spicy debates in family law was in the press last week.

Three judges at the Court of Appeal agreed that Mr Sharland had been thoroughly dishonest in his presentation to the court about how much his company was worth. As a result Mrs Sharland received just a shade over £10million and a small proportion of the proceeds of sale of her husband’s company, whilst he received a bit more than £5million but a much larger proportion of the company shares.

That was all negotiated on the understanding that the company was worth up to £47million. Now it seems Mr S was considering a floatation on the stock market at the time that could value the company at an eye-watering £1billion!

All three judges seem to agree he lied. One of them said the case should be reopened and the settlement renegotiated, but the other two decided the new information wouldn’t have made much difference to the outcome of the case. They declined to tear up the agreement reached and, to add insult to injury, ordered Mrs Sharland to pay her husband’s legal costs!

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mrs Sharland is up in arms about all this and the Supreme Court will decide in June 2015 whether they agree with the majority appeal court view or the minority.

In the meantime, what do you think? Should a dishonest spouse get away with being economical with the truth?