Court Allows Divorce Settlement Appeals

Kerry Rowell - Rogers and Norton Solicitors

The Supreme Court recently unanimously ruled in favour of two women who made applications to set aside orders made by the court in their divorce settlements.

Alison Sharland and Varsha Gohil both alleged that their husbands had, at the time the order was made, been dishonest about their financial position.  As such they argued that they had received an unfair financial settlement than they might otherwise have received if the true financial position had been known.

In Mrs Sharland case she was married for 17 years to the founder of AppSense.  They were able to reach an agreement on their financial settlement but following the divorce she discovered that he was worth significantly more than she had been told.  Further, she also discovered her husband planned to float the company on the stock market.  Mrs Sharland appealed to overturn her settlement but was not successful because the Court felt it unlikely she would have received a higher award.

Meanwhile, Varsha Gohil discovered two years after her divorce that her husband had been untruthful about his financial position when he was arrested for fraud and money laundering.  The Court refused to allow the criminal evidence to be used and to overturn her settlement.

In Mrs Sharland’s case the Supreme Court decided she had been deprived of her right to a full and fair hearing and in Ms Gohil’s case they decided there had been an ‘erroneous approach’ to the application of the admissibility of the evidence.

Therefore both applications should be allowed to proceed.

Kerry Rowell comments:

“These decisions have created speculation in the media about opening the floodgates to other such applications.  In fact what they have done is to ensure that justice comes first and that justice is about having a fair hearing in every respect.  If you provide dishonest or misleading information about what your assets are, this is a clear indication that your husband or wife can go back to court”

If you require advice on any of the above or any matrimonial matters, please contact Kerry Rowell or Averil Ballam in our matrimonial department on 01603 666001.  Or email or

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