Back to basics

Posted by Christine Plews on

One of the main tenets of family law is that there should be certainty at the end of a financial remedies application and that there are only very limited circumstances in which the court will go behind an Order or agreement made whether it is by consent or otherwise.

We saw this following 9/11 and during the recession of 2007/8 when the court were very reluctant to open up any orders or agreements even though the assets had dramatically changed in value. However, the judgements handed down today in the cases of Sharland and Gohil helpfully set out when the court will intervene following binding agreements having been made and it really is back to basics.

Despite recitals in orders and protective measures, all parties to a case have a duty to the court (and not each other) to make full and frank disclosure and the duty lies with the individual to explain their resources and not for the other person to prove them.

Also, the general principle of fraud unravels all and once that has been proved, the court will look at it all again.

This is a victory for common sense and justice.

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Christine leads the Family Law Practice Group and specialises in matters arising out of divorce and separation, including cohabitee disputes. She is an experienced mediator.

Christine Plews
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