Husband behind bars in divorce battle for failing to produce accurate financials22nd Jan 2013
- Dorset law firm highlights legal issues for similar divorce cases
A man at the centre of one of Britain’s most bitter divorce battles has been jailed for failing to produce an accurate account of his financial standings. Scot Young, a “business fixer” from London, was found in contempt of court and has been sentenced to six months in prison for keeping his wealth secret from his estranged wife. The case has highlighted a more widespread issue regarding the lack of financial transparency in divorce cases and the ramifications of such actions.
Lindsay Halliwell, Family Law solicitor and mediator from Dorset firm Coles Miller*, said of the case: “The duty to provide full and up to date financial disclosure is an ongoing one, whether a divorcing couple is proceeding through the court route, negotiating through the lawyers or attending mediation, collaboration or arbitration to try and avoid court. It is imperative that a clear financial picture is provided by both parties of their financial circumstances to enable each of them to make an informed decision as to a proposed financial settlement.”
In an attempt to promote more civil and amicable settlements, the Family Law team at Coles Miller actively encourage parties to exchange financial disclosure on an early voluntary basis. Ms Halliwell continued: “As can be seen from the Young case, if a party is ordered by the Court to provide evidence or information as to their financial circumstances and they refuse to adhere to the Order without good reason that party could be found to be in contempt of court which attracts a fine and/or a term of imprisonment.”
According to law, if either party withheld or misrepresented relevant financial information about their circumstances, which would have altered the financial settlement or the Order made by a Judge at a final hearing, the settlement or Order, which is normally binding when approved by a Judge, could be opened up for fresh negotiations.