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Women winning cases against lying husbands set to open floodgates

The case of two ex-wives who won their Supreme Court cases after claiming they were tricked by ex-husbands into accepting unfair divorce settlements looks likely to pave the way for many more aggrieved former partners to follow suite.

Alison Sharland and Varsha Gohil say the true extent of the wealth of their former spouses was concealed when their divorce settlements were agreed, and now both cases will return to the High Court after the Supreme Court’s decision this week.

Ms Sharland, from Wilmslow in Cheshire, accepted £10m in her 2010 divorce from her a software entrepreneur husband, believing this represented half of his wealth.

It later transpired that his company’s value was estimated, by the financial press, to be worth about £600m.

Meanwhile, Ms Gohil, from north London, accepted £270,000 and a car as a settlement when she divorced her husband in 2002.

But in 2010, Mr Gohil was convicted of money laundering and jailed for 10 years. At the criminal trial evidence revealed he had failed to disclose his real wealth during his divorce proceedings.

As a firm involved in the sometimes complicated area of family law, we have been watching these cases with huge interest.

Here at Dale & Newbery we really do envisage that these decisions may open the floodgates to thousands of couples revisiting the agreements they reached many years in the past.

This news will make some aggrieved people feel it is time for battle to recommence, whilst others will be sleeping somewhat uncomfortably.

These two cases have set a new precedent about how the courts should handle situations where financial information used in agreeing a divorce settlement is at a later date found to be either false, incomplete or both and therefore misled the court and other party.

It’ll be a very interesting time in family law departments of solicitors firms throughout the country in the foreseeable future.