There was a further cautionary tale regarding DIY Divorce last week, when the High Court in London set aside a divorce settlement worth £1.8 million after it transpired that the Husband had lied about his wealth, making the deal unfair to the Wife.
Family and Personal Matters Solicitor Cara Nuttall says "It reported that the couple agreed to deal with matters arising from their divorce without solicitors in order to minimise expense and delay, but that without legal advice, detailed investigation was not made into the true position regarding the Husband’s business interests and investments. As a result, when the Wife agreed to her £1.8 million payment by way of financial settlement, she did so based on a very unrealistic picture of the Husband’s value.
The reports from the High Court suggest that she only discovered the true position some time later, when she accidentally came across documents which detailed investments which had not been disclosed and which indicated the Husband had lied about the true position of his company. The Court then found that the extent to which the Husband had misrepresented his wealth meant that it was appropriate for the order to be set aside, which is done only in rare circumstances. Consideration will now have to be given to what lump sum the Wife should receive based on the Husband’s true financial circumstances.
Whilst for many people, trying to reach a settlement directly is a sensible way of avoiding costs, the case demonstrates that in some cases, it is always advisable to get specialist legal advice, and that failure to do so can lead to increased costs and delay in the long run"
By Family Law Solicitor Cara Nuttall.
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