During a divorce, separation or mediation, there is a strict legal requirement to engage in ‘full and frank disclosure’, Paralegal Sophie Bignell-Edwards explains.
Full and frank disclosure requires both you and your spouse to fully and honestly disclose your respective financial positions so that a fair outcome can be reached.
Upon breakdown of a marriage there will be significant assets which you have worked hard for and which you may wish to protect from your spouse. However, your legal requirement of full and frank financial disclosure will always take priority.
What happens if you lie or hide assets during financial disclosure?
A recent case in the Exeter Crown Court explains exactly this. The husband and wife had been going through a very lengthy divorce, and husband was incredibly upset at the prospect of losing his £100,000 civil service pension to his ex-wife. The husband misled the Court and the opposing solicitors and submitted fraudulent pension documentation. An investigation was launched following suspicions surrounding the validity of the document, and the husband was convicted of fraudulent misrepresentation (fraud) – an imprisonable offence. The wife was also awarded 100% of his civil service pension.
Further consequences of wilfully disposing of assets, attempting to hide assets or lying within financial proceedings are:
- Being held in contempt of Court; or
- Previous orders being dismissed or changed; or
- Conduct being take into account and altering the financial settlement in favour of the innocent party.
If you’re concerned about protecting specific assets, or you have reasons to believe that your partner might be concealing assets, you need specialist Divorce and Finance lawyers on that are well-equipped to guide you through the complexities. At the Family Law Company we offer specialist expertise and compassionate guidance to navigate the intricate nuances of your divorce.
Need some advice? Get in touch today