Rehearing after order set aside for non-disclosure

Rehearing after order set aside for non-disclosure

Family analysis: Amy Royce-Greensill analyses a case involving non-disclosure, where the High Court considered the approach it should take when rehearing a financial claim following the final order being set aside.

Original news

Goddard-Watts v Goddard-Watts [2016] EWHC 3000 (Fam)

The case was remitted to the High Court after the final order was set aside due to the husband’s non-disclosure regarding his interests in two trusts. At the rehearing, the court held it was fair to isolate the undisclosed resources and to deal only with those. The parties’ other resources were divided in a way that was fair and that remained fair. Excluding 35% of the trusts’ assets, which the court held were not marital assets, the wife would be entitled to the value of half the remaining assets (32.5%). This equated to a lump sum of £6.22m, which the court increased to £6.44m to reflect the fact that, first, if the truth had been known at the original proceedings, the wife would have received the sum earlier and secondly, she should not have been paid part of her original lump sum in instalments.

What was the background to the case?

The parties had divorced and a final order was made in 2010, under which the wife received the former matrimonial home and a lump sum of £4m (£1m of which was payable over eight years). In 2015, the final order was set aside due to the husband’s non-disclosure. The court setting aside the order found the husband had given a false presentation in respect of his interests in two trusts (see KG v LG (Appeal out of time; Material non-disclosure) [2015] EWFC 64, [2015] All ER (D) 338 (Jul)). The trusts were established in 2008 and held shares in a company set up by the husband’s brother. A significant proportion (35%) of the shares initially settled in the trusts was a direct contribution from the husband’s parents. The remainder represented the husband’s interest in his brother’s company.

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