Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2002] All ER (D) 315 (Mar)
Court: Family Division
Judge:

Munby J

Representation Nicholas Mostyn QC and Nicholas Cusworth (instructed by Sears Tooth) for the petitioner wife.
  Robert Deacon and Faizul Siddiqi (instructed by the Birmingham Legal Partnership) for the respondent husband.
  Antony Zacaroli (instructed by Travers Smith Braithwaite) for the sequestrators.
Judgment Dates: 30 January 2002

Catchwords

Divorce - Ancillary relief - Financial provision - Undisclosed assets - Wife having anecdotal evidence of husband's substantial wealth - Husband failing to give full and frank disclosure of interests - Whether court able to draw adverse inferences from non-disclosure.

The Case

The standard of proof of non-disclosure in ancillary relief cases was the normal civil standard of proof on the balance of probabilities. The court could properly draw adverse inferences only if there was some proper basis for them in findings of fact correctly arrived at in the light of admissible evidence. However, it was open to the court to find that the reason for a false presentation was undisclosed assets. In the instant case, the court concluded therefore that, since the respondent husband had deliberately failed to make full and frank disclosure of his assets and had done everything in his power to remove or dispose of any property of which he had believed the petitioner wife might have been aware, it was able to infer that his wealth was vastly greater than he had been prepared to admit. Accordingly, those undisclosed assets were taken into account in the wife's substantial award for ancillary relief.

Practice Areas

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