The foundation stone for sorting out your finances on divorce with your ex is honestly disclosing to them your financial situation - whether that's within mediation or within the court process. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.
Sometimes someone going through a divorce is tempted to hide assets and not disclose them. Hidden bank accounts, undisclosed shareholdings, unusual spending, missing yachts and even secret families - we have seen them all. In the face of an untruthful ex, it may be just as tempting to resort to "self help" including opening up your ex's mail, hacking into their email account or raiding their filing cabinet to find answers.
Either way, the court takes a dim view. The court has wide powers to not only ensure that finances are fully disclosed but that property that is at risk of being disposed of is preserved. And self help risks both civil and criminal sanctions.
We have formidable experience when it comes to dealing with discovering and preserving hidden assets as well as advising clients who have come across confidential documents that they believe may be helpful in resolving their case. Some situations we have recently dealt with are:
- successfully running an "add back" argument where our client's ex had wilfully and unnecessarily spent money, jeopardising our client's ability to financially provide for their children
- successfully obtaining a variety of injunctions to freeze and preserve money and property belonging to our client's ex, where there was a high risk that he would transfer the assets out of England and Wales to defeat her financial claims against him
- successfully re-opening an existing financial order where it became clear that, at the time the order had been made, our client had not been provided with full or frank disclosure and as a result had not received a fair award
- working with other specialists, unravelled a complex trail of asset-holding structures deliberately designed to hide the true owner of the assets and defeat our client's financial claims
- advising a client where her ex had behaved very badly by undervaluing assets, underpaying himself salary and purchasing property in the name of a nominee amongst other things