Husband fails to overturn divorce settlement after misleading court

A husband has failed to overturn what he considered an unreasonably generous divorce settlement imposed after a judge held that he had misled the court.

The case involved a couple who married in 1995 and separated in 2016. They had three dependent children. The wife had looked after the home and worked part time. She got a job after the couple separated.

A clean break was considered necessary due to the husband's assault and harassment of the wife.

According to her, the husband had net assets of £1.7 million.

The judge found that the husband had provided misleading and inadequate disclosure. He was ordered to pay the wife a lump sum of £1.4 million by a specified date, failing which interest would accrue.

An order was made under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 prohibiting the husband from applying for decree absolute until the couple had filed a declaration that they had taken the steps required to dissolve the marriage.

The husband appealed on the grounds that in the event of non-disclosure, the court had to give a precise figure or bracket for the undisclosed wealth before making a financial remedies order.

The High Court ruled against him. It held that to impose such a requirement on the court in all cases of non-disclosure would be likely to impede its task of achieving a fair outcome.

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