When divorcing, a failure to make a complete and truthful statement of one's financial circumstances when ordered to do so by the court can prove to be a costly mistake, as a wealthy man has found.
The millionaire executive lied in an attempt to hide his true wealth from his wife in the midst of their bitter divorce. His reward for being economical with the truth was to be ordered to hand her the keys to their £2 million home, following a ruling of the Court of Appeal.
The husband claimed that he had no interest in and derived no income from a highly successful offshore consultancy business. However, a family judge found that his assertion was 'manifestly untrue' and was designed to conceal the real extent of his fortune. The judge responded by awarding the family home to his wife, along with other assets.
In challenging that ruling, the husband denied that he had lied. He argued that his wife had been left with 65 per cent of the marital assets although the judge had intended there to be an equal division. In refusing permission to appeal, however, the Court ruled that there had been 'a wholesale failure by the husband to provide any meaningful disclosure' and that his choice to approach litigation in the way that he did was to 'run the risk of inferences being drawn against him'.