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The Risks of Non Disclosure

Family Finance

In the case of Hutchings-Whelan v Hutchings [2012] The Court of Appeal dismissed a husband’s appeal against a lump sum payment awarded to his former wife.

The parties had reached a consent order during ancillary relief proceedings on the basis the wife would receive a lump sum of £176,000 in full settlement of her claims and on the basis of a clean break.  The wife then began to suspect that the husband had failed to disclose all of his assets and applied to the court to have the matter reopened.  The court ordered the consent order to be set aside as it became apparent that the husband had indeed failed to make a full and frank disclosure of his assets.  A property had been bought in the name of one of their children.  The husband asserted that this was a gift.  However in reality this was deemed to have been the husband’s property – it had been sold for £1.3m.  After making a detailed evaluation of transactions carried out by the husband the judge awarded the wife an additional lump sum of £384,000.

The husband appealed citing the judgement did not take into account interest paid by him on loans in respect of the property, money spent refurbishing two other properties and that the judge had overvalued a bracelet he had owned.

The appeal was dismissed.  The husband failed to provide documentary evidence in relation to ownership of the property and his credibility was also bought into question.  The husband had not behaved in a co-operative, open and honest manner and therefore there was no reason to take any other course than to dismiss the appeal.

If you would like advice on divorce and finances please contact our Family Law Department for a free initial interview on Eastbourne 01323 727321 or Hailsham 01323 841481.

Nicholas Dennis
Nicholas Dennis
Alexandra Funnell
Alexandra Funnell
Guy Brown
Guy Brown
Carolyn Richards
Carolyn Richards