I Suspect My Partner is Withholding Assets in our Divorce
The law in England and Wales clearly states that when two people are getting divorced, they must set out their financial circumstances to each other in full.
Failure to disclose financial information in divorce not only causes hostility and distrust, but also makes the task of reaching an agreement, or pursuing a Court application, much more complicated and expensive.
For initial advice get in touch with our Divorce Solicitors.
Divorce Financial Settlements
Any divorce financial settlement which is reached in the absence of full and frank financial disclosure can be set aside by the Court at a later date, so if you’re not completely open about your finances in divorce, you’ll be left with the risk that your divorce financial settlement could be reopened in the future.
So what can you do if you suspect your ex isn’t being completely honest and open when declaring assets? If you believe your partner has assets they haven’t declared during divorce proceedings, then get in touch with our Divorce Solicitors straight away. Our specialist Solicitors have years of experience in divorce financial matters and may be able to help you get the financial settlement you deserve from your divorce.
Divorce Courts in England and Wales take a dim view of people who try to conceal assets and will penalise those who are dishonest about their finances. For instance, a Court can order the person to pay their ex’s legal costs, or award them a less generous settlement than they might have received otherwise. And in certain situations, a person who knowingly tries to hide their wealth can be imprisoned, even though the case is being heard at a Civil rather than a Criminal Court.
Even if your financial situation changes after you’ve applied to get a divorce and you’ve declared your assets, you still need to make this new information known, so the Court can make a decision based on the most current information.
For more information see Divorce Financial Orders and Financial Settlements.
Breaching Personal Privacy is Against the Law
When emotions are running high in a divorce, you might be tempted to go behind your ex’s back and try to access sensitive personal information by stealth. And your close relationship might even give you the means to do that, as you may know the passwords on their email account, laptop and phone and therefore be able to check emails, documents and texts without their consent or knowledge.
However, the Court will view this as a breach of a person’s privacy, even if you do manage to prove that your ex was hiding certain assets. There are many laws which protect “personal privacy”, some of which are supported by serious penalties.
For example, it’s a serious criminal offence to open post or emails which are not addressed to you. Secondly, if you give those documents (or copies of them) to your Divorce Solicitor, he or she may be prevented from acting for you further.
So if you suspect that your ex is concealing assets, you must go through the proper channels and follow the advice of your Divorce Solicitor.
For initial legal advice call our Family Law and Divorce Solicitors
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.