A business tycoon who lied about his wealth in a £1.8m divorce settlement has been told he may have to pay more after a judge ruled couples have a duty to tell each other the truth when striking deals.
The man, who was referred to as a “master of the half-truth,” had lied to his wife about the success of his investments and reached a private agreement to pay her £1.8m when their marriage ended.
But Judge Sir Paul Coleridge has ordered the settlement be ripped up after the wife launched a challenge when she found information about her ex-husband’s assets that he had not told her about.
The High Court heard the woman had made the settlement without legal advice because she wanted to move on quickly from the relationship, but had later discovered documents. The couple, who cannot be named, divorced in 2009.
Sir Paul said the man had been “deliberately false” in the picture he presented to his wife and called for the settlement to be renegotiated to see whether his wife should be paid a “further capital payment.”
The documents found by the wife included evidence that the businessman had shares worth up to £740,000 in one company which had a £50 million turnover. The court heard he had told his wife he was an employee and the company was not trading and therefore had a ‘nil value.’
It also emerged a further £800,000 investment had not been declared.
Sir Paul added: “With the availability of legal advice becoming scarcer and parties often having to litigate without proper legal advice it is more than ever important that financial details are presented to the other side and the court in a simple, clear, concise and, above all, accurate way.”
Source: The Telegraph