If you have negotiated a divorce settlement and then find out that your ex spouse has been less than open when disclosing their personal finances, the court will reopen the matter if there is sufficient evidence to do so.

In a recent hearing, the court was told by the ex wife of a businessman that he had been less than entirely truthful when he had made his financial disclosures. She claimed that her ex husband had substantially undervalued his assets by claiming that shares he owned in a company had no value because it was not trading, when the turnover was in fact in excess of £50 million. She alleged that the shares were worth more than £700,000.

In addition, she claimed that he had failed to disclose other investments he held that were worth more than £800,000.

The wife successfully applied for the previously agreed financial settlement of £1.8 million to be set aside so that a new settlement, based on the true position, could be negotiated.

Says Pauline O’rourke, “The courts insist that the disclosure of assets and income in such circumstances is correct and complete. Failing to be open and truthful can lead to unpleasant consequences.”