Husband who hid money in divorce case must pay wife extra


A man has been ordered to pay more to his wife in their divorce settlement after it emerged that he had been dishonest about his wealth.

Ironically, the total he had to pay was more than if he had not tried to hide some of his assets.

The case involved a mature couple who separated after several years of marriage.

They agreed a clean break settlement in which the wife received a lump sum of £176,000.

However, the wife later began to suspect that the husband had not revealed all his assets when the settlement was agreed and she applied to the court to have the case re-opened.

The judge identified that a property which had been purchased in the name of one of the couple’s adult children, was in reality owned by the husband. This had not been disclosed at the time of the settlement.

Wife awarded more money

The property had been purchased for £250,000 and sold for £1.3m. Following a detailed evaluation at which both parties were represented, the judge awarded the wife a further £384,000 and ordered the husband to pay costs.

The husband appealed saying the figure should be reduced because it failed to take into account interest he had paid on loans relating to the property together with other expenses. He also appealed against the award of costs.

However, the Court of Appeal ruled against him. It held that the difficulties faced by the judge in assessing the case had arisen from the husband’s own conduct. It was impossible now to complain that the judge had exceeded the generous ambit of discretion open to him.

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They also said it was right that the husband paid costs because it had been his conduct that had led to the previous verdict being appealed.