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Short Changed Wives Court Victory Could Open Court Floodgates

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Two women’s victories against ex-husbands who deceived them about their wealth in divorce proceedings could mean many thousands of people returning to court, say Family Law experts.

Simon Leach, Family Law expert at Family Law Group said many divorces would now be looked at in a new light after Alison Sharland and Varsha Gohil’s victories this week in the Supreme Court.

The women said they accepted unfair divorce settlements as the wealth of former spouses were concealed when the agreements were made, which means both claims will return to the High Court.

“It could be that the floodgates will open to great numbers revisiting agreements reached years ago,” said Mr Leach, whose firm is based in Nottingham.

He said the cases have set a new precedent about how the Courts should act where dishonest information used in agreeing a divorce settlement is at a later date found to be in some way false, incomplete or both.

Ms Sharland, from Cheshire, accepted £10m in her 2010 divorce from her entrepreneur husband, believing this represented half of his wealth. However, his company's value was later estimated by the financial press to be worth nearer £600m.

Ms Gohil, from north London, accepted just over £270,000 when she divorced her husband in 2002 but some years later he was jailed for money laundering and at the criminal trial, evidence revealed that during his divorce he had failed to disclose his true wealth.