Reopening divorce settlements
A Coventry law firm has dismissed claims that a ruling which allowed two women to reopen their divorce settlements will open the floodgates for further cases to be renegotiated.
Alison Sharland, who accepted £10 million in her divorce, and Varsha Gohil, who accepted £270,000, both won their appeals at the Supreme Court after it emerged that their ex-husbands had hidden the extent of their wealth.
According to judgements by the bench, fraud and dishonesty regarding financial assets justifies an appeal against a previously agreed settlement and both cases have now been submitted to the High Court for a final decision.
Band Hatton Button, in Warwick Road, is one of the largest law practices in the city with 16 partners and in all over 75 employees now based at the firm.
Tracy Cross, partner and family mediator at the firm, has spoken out to reject claims that previously agreed divorce settlements across the country now face uncertainty and will be entitled to renegotiation.
"Whilst the ruling serves as a reminder to both parties the importance of full disclosure when stating assets, it is unlikely there will be any significant implications for most divorce settlements across the country.
"Although it's possible it might now be more accessible to revisit orders where there's a doubt about the information disclosed at the time they were made, it's important to bear in mind that both Sharland and Gohil's cases deal with substantial amounts of money - significantly more than the average divorce case.
"Since these cases are often lengthy and costly, those considering reopening settlements should approach with caution and weigh up the pros and cons to decide whether it is necessarily worthwhile for their individual case.
"Court proceedings are not always cost-effective and there are several other routes that can be taken towards revisiting settlements, including mediation, so it is best to seek advice from a specialist."
Tracy concluded: "Band Hatton Button is one of Coventry's leading legal firms with a dedicated family law department which specialises specifically in money and children's issues.
"We often speak to people on the phone in the first instance to provide information and this can often help give people an idea as to whether or not renegotiating would be best for them."
Taken from http://www.edgemagazine.org