Family & Divorce

What if my Ex did not declare all their assets after a financial order was made?

If you are separating or getting divorced, we would advise you to reach a financial settlement on how your assets will be divided.

26 Jul 2022

Team name
Emma Boys-Smith

Emma Boys Smith

Both of you are under an obligation to provide full, frank and clear disclosure of all your assets, liabilities, income and outgoings. This can be dealt with voluntarily or through the court.

If either of you fails to provide full disclosure of your assets this may be construed as “litigation misconduct” in any court proceedings and could result in a costs order being made again you.

Before reporting this to the court, it is good practice to write to your ex to provide them with an opportunity to produce the missing disclosure. If you do not get a response or a suitable explanation you may need to apply to the court to notify them of this breach and challenge any order.

The court will decide if the value of the non-disclosed assets is enough to make a difference to the order. If so, it may set aside a financial order. The court could order to start the matter fresh or adopt a more tailored approach (Kingdon v Kingdon [2011] 1 FLR 1409). It is important to note that even if both parties are in agreement, the court has the final say as to whether to approve a consent order or overturn it.

What if I find a document belonging to my ex or I access my ex’ information?

The law does not allow you to access your ex’s personal documents to use in a divorce, even if you are concerned that your ex may not disclose them. This was decided in the case of Imerman v Imerman [2009] EWHC 3486 (Fam).  If you give personal documents belonging to your ex to your solicitor, they cannot use them or look at them. Instead, they must send them to your ex’s solicitor, who must return copies of all relevant documents to your solicitor.

M&P Commentary

Emma Boys-Smith, a Paralegal in the Family Law team, said:

“Please contact the family department should you wish to enquire about financial arrangements and applying to vary or overturn a previous consent order.”

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