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Financial Settlement Re-Examination Due to Non-Financial Disclosure

By Principal Lawyer, Family Law

A woman has won the latest round of a legal battle to increase the financial settlement awarded after claiming her ex ‘misrepresenting’ her wealth when they split up.

Helen Roocroft, 42, was in a 19-year long same-sex relationship with property tycoon Carol Ann Ainscow, who died three years ago aged 55.

When their civil partnership was dissolved in August 2010 Ms Roocroft accepted a financial settlement of around £200,000. Ms Roocroft later made an application against Ms Ainscow’s estate believing her partner to have “misrepresented her wealth”.

After losing her initial claim in a family court two years ago, this time the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Ms Roocroft. She now has the right to take her case to be reconsidered by a High Court judge where her civil partnership dissolution settlement will be re-examined. 

The Court of Appeal has sent out yet another warning to those who mislead the court that any order based on wrong information will be set outside, with very significant cost implications for the dishonest party.

People met with non-financial disclosure in financial relief proceedings following the breakdown of a civil partnership or marriage have the right to challenge the initial financial settlement.

Here at Slater and Gordon, we have had success in providing support and assistance for those who have had issues with their partner’s non-financial disclosure without having to present to the Court of Appeal and we have successfully set aside orders based on such dishonesty.

In one case, we were able to obtain a further £3m for a client by way of financial settlement. Furthermore, the dishonest respondent was required to pay a very significant sum in costs and interest.

Whether getting divorced or dissolving a civil partnership, all parties are obliged to fully disclose their financial assets. Failure to do so could render any settlement void and lead to the court re-opening the case and reassessing the financial settlement originally awarded.

To read more on this topic see our previous blog: The Impact of Concealing Assets in Divorce.

If you have a financial settlement which you believe may have been achieved without the other party giving proper and full disclosure, we may be able to assist. Call the divorce solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers today on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online.

Liz Cowell is a senior family law solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.

Worried about non-financial disclosure? Why not read our blog: What documents do I need to provide by way of Financial Disclosure?

Finances on Separation

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