X v Y [2022] EWFC 95

Published: 15/08/2022 09:00

https://caselaw.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ewfc/2022/95

HHJ Hess. Financial remedy judgment in which the wife’s capital claims were adjourned for a decade in view of dishonest fabrication of bank statements by H and uncertainty as to assets. Judgment published ‘to draw wider attention to the ability of dishonest parties to manufacture bank statements (and other documents) which, for all practical purposes, look genuine, but which are in reality not in that category’; refers to Helen Brander’s article Dodgy Digital Documents: Where are we now? Where are we going?? at [2022] 2 FRJ 139.

Although attending the final hearing, H had repeatedly failed to provide compliant disclosure and was found to have dishonestly and falsely manufactured a bank statement showing a multi-million deposit paid for his company, to mislead the wife into giving up work and relocating to the UK. Was H dishonest in saying he had money then, or dishonest in saying he had no money now?

The wife, who was full time carer for the parties’ children, argued for an adjournment of her capital claims given failure to identify how claim might be met. Principle arising from MT v MT [1992] 1 FLR 362; AW v AH [2020] EWFC 22; Quan v Bray & Others [2018] EWHC 3558; and Joy v Joy-Marancho and Others (No 3) [2015] EWHC 2507 is that:

‘If a litigant engages in conduct, which may include full or partial non-disclosure, which causes the court to conclude that a once-off division of capital now is likely to cause unfairness and injustice to the other party then the court, in exception to the normal practice, has a discretion to decide that the normal desirability of finality in litigation should be overridden to preserve the possibility of a fair outcome for the parties.’

The present case met this test.

Makes extendable term ten-year periodical payments order for £5k from 1 May 2023 (+CPI), allowing H time to obtain a job within his earning capacity. Variable if H provides clear and compelling evidence of a lower salary.

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