Divorcees challenge ‘non disclosure’ settlements

Two women who accepted accepting divorce settlements, based on false information provided by their ex-husbands, have been asking the Supreme Court to overturn their court orders.

In a three-day hearing that began on 8 June, Alison Sharland and Varsha Gohil asked for their divorce settlements to be set aside on the basis that their husbands were dishonest and deliberately misled them and the courts during the original hearings.

Ms Sharland agreed what she believed was a 50/50 split in her divorce settlement after 17 years of marriage but it later became apparent that her ex-husband Charles has misled her and the courts over the value of his business and his plans for a future IPO flotation. Instead of being valued at between £31million and £47 million, his Appsense business was reported in the financial press as being ready to float at a value of $1 billion.

In 2004, two years after her divorce, Ms Gohil found out that her husband Bhadresh had not fully disclosed his finances during their divorce leading her to accept £270,000 and a car as a settlement. He was convicted of fraud offences and jailed for ten years in 2010 and during the course the criminal trial, further evidence of the extent of his intentional non-disclosure in the original divorce proceedings emerged.

Ros Bever, a partner at Irwin Mitchell, the solicitors representing both women, said: “It is often only the larger cases where there are the funds available to take such cases to the appeal courts.

“However the issues in these latest cases do not apply only to those where there are large sums at stake; the application is far more wide reaching. The decisions will affect those people with more modest assets and sums involved which is why they are so important.”

Moore Thompson provides expert litigation support services, which enables us to provide a more complete financial picture of assets to support legal professionals and their divorce clients in negotiations designed to achieve satisfactory outcomes.

Our expertise also includes valuations of companies, businesses and shareholdings and assistance on all aspects of tax, including maximising the tax efficiency of settlements. For more information on our litigation support services, please contact us.