Litigation Funding Helps in Unfair Divorce Settlement

Litigation Funding Helps in Unfair Divorce Settlement

Divorce can be a very unpleasant business for all involved and for all the upheaval it is very are that the divorcing spouses get everything they want from the settlement.

The divorce process requires a lot of compromise on both sides to reach a final agreement and for the case to be resolved. This often leaves the divorced spouse feeling that they have an unfair settlement, or a raw deal, particularly if you find that your ex-partner tried to cover up the extent of their wealth during the divorce proceedings.

What can be done about it?

Up until recently nothing. Now, though, thanks to the perseverance of Alison Sharland and Varsha Gohil, and I’m guessing a little litigation funding, disputed divorce settlements can be re-opened.

These two ex-wives claimed that their husbands misled the judges about how much they were worth in their initial settlement cases. Fraudulent behaviour on the part of the ex-husbands.

In a landmark supreme court decision, these two ladies won the right to seek a larger divorce settlement from their former husbands.

Why pursue the claim?

Sharland says that her “legal battle has never been about the money, it has always been a matter of principle.”

After accepting a £10.35m settlement from her ex-husband she later found out that his company was worth considerably more than he had revealed. The company was valued at between £31m and £47m for the original settlement and new estimates placed its value at £656m. She goes on to explain:

“I entered into an agreement with my estranged husband thinking that it was a fair one.”

“I believed that the net result was an equal division of our assets which had accrued during our marriage and so, in my opinion, 50 per cent was fair.

One very poignant point Sharland made, and obviously a strong belief that made her persevere with the claim was the issue of others not being able to afford to pursue such a principle without the need for litigation funding.

“However, I know that there are potentially others who are not in the same position as me financially, those who cannot afford to pursue a principle.”

As you have read it turned out that the settlement was not a fair one and now Sharland will be presenting her case to the high court for it to be re-assessed.

What is the future impact of this outcome?

This outcome means one of two things to the future of divorce litigation:

It will either open the floodgates to disgruntled partners revisiting divorce cases to divide the value of assets that have already been divided in the original divorce proceedings. I waste of time for the courts, and the cases could end up quite petty.

On the other hand, this advancement could be a strong deterrent to those that try to cheat their spouses out of what is rightfully theirs by using fraudulent behaviour.

It does also mean that many divorce cases thought to have been resolved could again be locked in litigation. Husband and wives should be warned that if they try to cover up the true extent of their worth they best be constantly looking over their shoulder for some time to come.

Will you be constantly looking over your shoulder?

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