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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ex-wives challenging divorce ~ not the decision but pay out !!!!

Alimony (noun)  [English meaning from thefreedictionary.com]
1. Law :  An allowance for support made under court order to a divorced person by the former spouse, usually the chiefprovider during the marriage. Alimony may also be granted without a divorce, as between legally separated persons.
2. A means of livelihood; maintenance.

Alimony  [also called maintenance; spousal support] is a legal obligation on a person to provide financial support to his or her spouse before or after marital separation or divorce. The obligation arises from the divorce law or family law of each country. Traditionally, alimony was paid by a husband to his former wife, but since the 1970s there have been moves in many Western countries towards gender equality with a corresponding recognition that a former husband may also be entitled to alimony from his former wife !!!   In earlier days, in India, divorce was a stigma.  Now much is being written about divorce being on the rise in India, sometimes accompanied by hand-wringing about the egos and inflexibility of younger couples, who seem less willing than their parents to stay in marriages they are not happy with. In Western World, it is perceived that more separations occur for much less pressing reasons !

Away, newspaper reports suggest that there  was no holding back in the glamour stakes from the Manchester United WAGs at the glitzy Player of the Year Awards. Indeed this year there were a series of bold, one might even say eye-popping, style statements from the wives and girlfriends of the Reds first team.  WAGs is an acronym referring  to ‘wives and girlfriends’ of high-profile sportsperson.  The term was first used by the British tabloid press to refer to the wives and girlfriends of high-profile footballers, originally the England national football team. It came into common use during the 2006 FIFA World Cup,  whence the Press gave increasing coverage to the socialising and shopping activities of the English WAGs, who were based in the German town of Baden-Baden. It was frequently suggested that England's exit from the tournament in the quarterfinals was a result of such distractions.  Prominent among them was  spice Victoria Beckham, wife of then England captain David Beckham.

This is a different news on landmark hearing at UK Supreme Court on  ‘ex-wives’- of their challenging divorce – not the separation itself but the payouts, after their exes lied about their wealth.  MailOnline reports that two ex-wives are set to challenge the size of their divorce payouts in a landmark hearing at the Supreme Court after their former husbands lied about their wealth. Divorcee Alison Sharland will stand alongside Varsha Gohil at Britain's highest court next month as they fight for bigger settlements. Both women are taking action amid claims their ex-husbands were dishonest about the true extent of their finances while their divorces were being thrashed out in court.

Alison Sharland  accepted £10.35m from her ex-husband Charles  in the belief it was half his fortune. Now she has won the right to ask for more at the Supreme Court. Family lawyer Ros Bever, who is handling both cases, is quoted in The Times as saying: 'Both cases raise serious issues about how the courts should handle cases where information shared with the court and used to agree a divorce settlement is later found to be false of incomplete.  'We believe the situation that both women find themselves in is unfair and that is why we applied for permission to take their cases to the Supreme Court.

'These cases give the Supreme Court the opportunity to provide much needed guidance on whether non-disclosure vitiates a divorce agreement. At the moment it appears not to - but we hope that ultimately justice will be done and will be seen to be done.' Mrs Sharland, 48, originally agreed a £10.35million settlement in a deal that saw her give up her claim to an equal share in her husband's software company. But husband Charlie had lied about the value of his share in AppSense, and she then claimed she was entitled to more.  The Court of Appeal found that Mr Sharland, 54, had deliberately hidden information and lied to the court but refused to overturn the divorce settlement. The Sharlands, from Wilmslow in Cheshire, married in 1993 and Mr Sharland founded the software company AppSense in 1999. The couple, who have three children, separated in 2010 and agreed to split their assets.

They could not agree over the value of Mr Sharland's share of AppSense, which has grown to become one of the biggest firms of its kind in the world with offices in Silicon Valley, New York, Australia and across Europe. She eventually agreed to accept £10.35million in cash and property and 30 per cent of the proceeds from her husband's shares when they were put on the market. The deal was agreed on the basis that they were worth no more than £32million. But within days of the agreement an initial public offering on the stock market – which never took place – valued the company at more than £460million, meaning his shares were worth around £132million after tax.

Mr Sharland did not dispute that he misled his ex-wife and an Appeal Court judge said his conduct was 'deliberate and dishonest' but the court ruled that Mrs Sharland was bound by the agreement she had signed and refused her appeal.  Varsha Gohil accepted £270,000 and the family Peugeot from solicitor Bhadresh Gohil in 2004 after divorcing him for alleged adultery and unreasonable behaviour. But in 2010 he was jailed for ten years for money laundering after a court heard he helped millionaire Nigerian politician James Ibori steal around £50million from the oil-rich state he governed.  In June 2012 a High Court judge agreed she could fight the case, and a hearing was fixed for last year. But in March 2014 three Appeal Court judges unanimously quashed that ruling and the hearing was cancelled. Not undone,  Mrs Gohil later won permission to take her case to the Supreme Court - where she will stand alongside Mrs Sharland.

In the previous hearing, Lord Justice McFarlane offered Mrs Gohil his 'sympathy' but said it was 'simply not open to the court' to decide in 2012 about an issue discussed in 2004.  The case involving the two women will be decided after a Supreme Court hearing in June.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

26th May 2015.

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