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Judge calls for honesty amongst divorcing couples


High Court Judge Sir Paul Coleridge has ordered for a divorce settlement to be “ripped up,” as details emerged of a business tycoon being untruthful in his financial disclosure, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The ex-husband, who was referred to as the “master of the half-truth,” lied about his wealth in a private £1.8m divorce settlement.

The wife launched a challenge, as she later found out about further assets, which hadn’t been put forward during the private settlement discussions.

It was also unveiled that the ex-wife had agreed to the settlement without obtaining any legal advice, as she wanted to move on quickly from the relationship.

The couple, who could not be named, divorced in 2009.

Judge Sir Paul Coleridge was reported saying that the man had been “deliberately false” in the picture he presented to his wife. The judge also called for the settlement to be renegotiated to see whether his wife should be paid a “further capital payment.”

The documents found by the wife included evidence that the businessman had shares worth up to £740,000 in one company which had a £50 million turnover. The court heard he had told his wife he was an employee and the company was not trading and therefore had a ‘nil value.’  It also emerged a further £800,000 investment had not been declared.

Judge Sir Paul Coleridge also highlighted the importance of truthful financial disclosure at a time when the availability of legal advice is becoming scarcer and parties often have to litigate without proper legal advice.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Stitchedup says:

    Yet again the judicary are more concerned about securing money for women than any of the other lies and gross injustices targeted at men. It really is all about money isn’t it?

  2. Tulsa Divorce Lawyer Matt Ingham says:

    Ensuring honesty when the parties are disclosing finances has become a real issue in family courts generally. Here in Tulsa Oklahoma USA we family law practicioners include a section in our final divorce decrees that in the event one of the parties failed to provide honest full disclosure of their finances, then the other party reserves the right to reopem the divorce and seek sanctions.

  3. Stitchedup says:

    Matt, in your oppinion as a lawyer, are there any other lies that justify reopen of the divorce and seeking of sanctions?

  4. Steve says:

    Unfortunately it just boils down to finances, you can lie all you want everywhere else and even put lies/statements into documents to court, but finances are deemed differently

  5. Z says:

    The X County Court condones perjury. The husband can lie throughout the entire proceeding and the court ignores all hard copy evidence proving his perjury and gives the wife’s family inheritance away to him as his solicitor is so unethical she puts lie after lie into the entire decree. Judge Y is a discriminatory dismissive man who cannot spell the word “justice”. It was written by a High Court Justice in London that 99% of the men in divorce cases lie. Women are emotionally involved and tell the truth. This justice confirmed this to me personally. X condones perjury.

  6. Z says:

    I can say vehemently with conviction that the X County Court is 1. dismissive, 2. discriminatory in all dealings with an American citizen who lived in the UK 16 years and has 3. condoned perjury by the British husband and his ex-solicitor, and 4. ignored hard copy evidence proving perjury.

  7. Luke says:

    “Women are emotionally involved and tell the truth.”

    Regardless of what may or may not have happened in your case Z that blanket statement is just ridiculous.

    In many cases of divorce women ARE extremely emotionally involved and bitter and angry and will say virtually ANYTHING to win – with the family court system as it currently is I would argue that they usually do so quite easily.

  8. John says:

    Burst out laughing. ” Judge calls for honesty amongst divorcing couples”.

    What about some honesty from the courts in the first instance?

  9. JZ says:

    Z for me it is the American husband who is lying having perjured himself (plus his family) in court at the domestic violence case (found guilty) and now on his divorce e form if the court/judge do not support me that this is the case then his deceitfulness will pay off. As a woman all believe we are only after money and we are not! However sometimes a partner needs justice when they (perpetrators in this case) are so outrageously in the wrong. The whole process of divorce is based on how much lawyers can get out of you and when you have nothing it is more tough than you can believe. I see from several others (men too) who are in my situation where the partners thinks they have the right to take all you have and you are divorced and owe them nothing. Ah well I took MS advice and have a barrister for court case so will keep you informed! Say some prayers for me xxx Thank you this site is very helpful x

  10. JamesB says:

    There is a saying in the divorce court that unless everyone is lying then there is something wrong. Personally I have found this to be the case. My pre divorce view of the law has completely changed after such things as seeing ex swearing things which were not true and my solicitor advising me to leave things off the form e, etc. etc. sad I suppose.

  11. JZ says:

    Hello again, I spoke with you before my husband had been convicted of domestic violence and wanted FDR meetings we have had 2 and he wont agree but we are divorced. Where do I stand? He gifted me £200k and now wants it back in its totality and the last judge said OK!! Now we are going to final judge trial and I am broke cannot afford the mortgage and am desperate as he seems to be getting all the money when I am in cancer treatment (caused by him breast cancer from distress) I am desperate my solicitor is milking the money but doing nothing?? Help please JZ

  12. JZ says:

    Sorry me again the barrister says its a needs case??? He is pleading poverty but he has moved al his money round in the USA and his broker has moved stuff but what can I do?

  13. JZ says:

    My husband took me to court to revoke the divorce and fortunately was not successful. Can I issue a subpoena for his bank records as an individual?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear JZ
      I didn’t think he would. In a financial case he has to produce his bank statements within his disclosure. If you want them further back you can ask the Judge at the First Appointment to order production but you will need to explain why in your Questionnaire.

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