The Supreme Court have delivered their ruling today on the appeals of Sharland and Gohil. Both cases deal with the issue of material non-disclosure in financial proceedings. The husbands in these cases chose to hide their assets and commit fraud, in the case of Mr Sharland, rather than provide the full and frank disclosure that the court requires. The result was a depleted financial award for both wives as the court simply did not have the full financial picture. The family law community have been eagerly awaiting the decision as the law in this area has been in a state of flux. There is a need to balance the need for certainty in the outcome of financial proceedings with honesty and full disclosure. Certainty should not be achieved at the expense of justice for all concerned. The fact that they have both won their appeals is a ground-breaking decision and will impact would-be material non-disclosers.
Two women who want their divorce settlements increased because they say their ex-husbands misled courts are to hear the Supreme Court's ruling later.Alison Sharland and Varsha Gohil say the men hid the true extent of their wealth when the deals were made.The BBC's Clive Coleman said it was the "first time in a generation" the court had examined how much a person can lie about assets before a divorce deal can be scrapped or renegotiated.It was a "vexed issue" in law, he said.If the court rules in favour of the women, it could pave the way for many more people to seek to renegotiate settlements.