Different effects of not providing proper disclosure
This blog highlights two separate cases in which a full and frank disclosure was not provided in matrimonial proceedings and the different ways the Court dealt with the same.
The case of AB v CD 2016
In the case of AB v CB, the Husband applied to the Court to set aside the Consent Order arguing that the Wife had not provided a full and frank disclosure at the time the agreement was reached.
It was the Husband’s case that the non-disclosure was material and he would not have agreed to the terms of the settlement (in February 2012) if he had known of the Wife’s true circumstances.
The Husband was allowed to make his application.
The Court held that each party has a duty to make a full and frank disclosure of their assets. In the absence of proper disclosure, an Order is likely to be flawed.
It was confirmed that even if the facts were innocently misrepresented, it can still influence whether the Consent Order is upheld, if the undisclosed fact was material to the case.
The Court found that the Wife in this case had not provided a full and frank disclosure, but did not do so deliberately and in an attempt to deceive the Husband.
However, the non-disclosure was relevant, given it would materially affect the outcome of the case.
The case of Rapp v Sarre
The parties in this case met in 1990 and subsequently separated in 2009 after the Wife discovered the Husband was taking cocaine and drinking heavily.
The Wife applied to the Court to try to resolve matters in respect of the finances.
However, the Husband failed to engage in the process and did not comply with his duty of disclosure.
As a result the information before the Court in respect of the Husband’s circumstances was limited.
On the evidence in the Judge’s possession, the net assets were £13.8 million.
The Judge considered that a fair division of the assets would be 54.5% to the Wife and 45.5% to the Husband.
The Judge justified his division from equality on the basis of the parties needs and in order to take into account the Husband’s conduct and the fact he recklessly frittered away the parties’ money.
The Judge had to make assumptions in respect of some of the Husband’s circumstances, given a full disclosure had not been provided.
The Husband appealed the Judge’s decision, arguing the parties’ needs were identical.
The appeal was dismissed and the Judge’s decision stood.
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