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Undisclosed properties

Full and frank disclosure of assets is one of the key parts of the financial element of the divorce process. Without it, it is impossible to come to a fair financial settlement for both parties.

One of our expert family law solicitors have acted for a woman who was having problems getting her husband to disclose all of his properties, as part of this process. After being married to her husband for 16 years and having a child, who was now aged 10, the wife had come to us for advice because her marriage had come to an end.

She explained to us that while they were married, her husband had been in charge of the financial side of things, so other than the fact that he owned a number of properties, she knew very little else.

After her husband did not disclose his assets, we applied to the courts, where a judge ordered the husband to provide full disclosure. Unfortunately, he did not comply with this order, so we had to apply for a penal notice to be attached to it. This notice explained to the husband that if he still failed to comply with the order, he could end up in jail.

Again, the husband refused to comply.

We then applied to the courts for a judge to sign a form on the husband’s behalf, so that a Land Registry search could take place against the husband’s name. This search revealed 11 properties owed by the husband.

After further investigation, we discovered that a friend had been transferred ownership of some other of our client’s husband’s properties and was just about to auction them.

Our solicitor applied to the courts for an order to stop the properties from being sold and to set aside the transfer of the properties to the husband’s friend. The judge granted the orders and after a final hearing, our client was awarded various properties she could use for investment income, as well as a mortgage-free property.

Despite this, the husband still refused to comply, so our solicitor applied to the courts for a judge to sign the relevant documents to transfer the properties on the husband’s behalf. We also requested that the husband pay his wife’s costs, due to his conduct throughout this process.

When one of the other properties was sold, the costs were deducted from the husband’s share of the proceeds.

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