A landmark ruling in the Supreme Court today could “open the floodgates” to legal claims where one spouse has hidden assets in divorce settlements.
In a major victory, two women who said their former husbands had misled the court about the value of their assets were granted fresh hearings.
Lawyers are warning that a large number of cases could now emerge where a spouse feels they have accepted a settlement without full disclosure of the assets involved.
Alison Sharland, 48, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, and Varsha Gohil, 50, from north London, both said their ex-husbands misled judges about how much they were worth.
Supreme Court justices, who analysed the disputes at a hearing in London in June, have now ruled in favour of the women.
Sandra Davis, of law firm Mishcon de Reya, said the judgment is a victory for all those asserting their rights to know the truth about their spouse's finances.
“Having been denied by the Court of Appeal, it is telling that the Supreme Court has today unanimously allowed the appeals,” she said. “This decision upholds and reinforces the principle of full and frank disclosure and should be seen as a stark warning to all those that would seek to deprive their spouses and the court of it.”
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