The Court of Appeal has recently issued a judgment showing the extent of its displeasure with divorcing spouses who deliberately do not disclose the truth about their finances when negotiating the financial settlement on divorce.
In the case in point, the Court revoked an order by the High Court to maintain the anonymity of a Greek businessman who failed to disclose the true extent of his assets but ordered him to transfer an additional £20 million into the ‘matrimonial pot’. The High Court had allowed him to maintain his anonymity on the basis that disclosure of his lack of forthrightness might damage his business reputation. The Appeal Court’s ruling now means his name had been made public.
It has been the usual practice for divorce proceedings in the High Court to be referred to in court reports only by the initials of the couple. Exceptions are made to the rule when a case has a very high public profile, such as the divorce proceedings between Paul McCartney and Heather Mills.
The implication is that where there is a breach of the duty of ‘full and frank disclosure’, the anonymity of the couple may not be preserved, opening the door to the lack of candour or truthfulness of either party being made public