The impact of failing to give full financial disclosure
A recent Family High Court decision has demonstrated the costly implications of failing to stick to the court’s strict financial disclosure rules.
Didier Thiry, a property magnate, signed a pre-nuptial agreement with his wife Alisa, prior to their marriage in 2006. The agreement contained details of each parties assets which they had agreed would remain theirs during the marriage and beyond. Neither party sought to depart from the prenuptial agreement and indeed each ratified it during the course of the divorce proceedings.
However, both of them entered into some complex financial arrangements during their marriage – details of which Mr Thiry failed to disclose during the divorce proceedings. The judge found Mr Thiry’s conduct to be so poor that he ordered Mr Thiry to pay his ex-wife not only around £17million as her financial settlement, but also all of her legal costs amounting to £456,000.
The courts have wide powers to ensure that there is full financial disclosure during all divorce cases, and a husband or wife attempting to conceal assets can be penalised by being ordered to pay the other side’s legal costs, or by being given a less favourable settlement.
This case should serve as a stark reminder to those parties who feel that the disclosure rules do not apply to them or feel they can hide away assets.
Any party going through a divorce who feels their spouse may be trying to conceal assets should seek expert legal advice from an experienced family solicitor.
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