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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

31 MAR 2011

ANCILLARY RELIEF: Gordon (Formerly Stefanou) v Stefanou [2010] EWCA Civ 1074

(Court of Appeal; Thorpe and Black LJJ and Coleridge J, 2 December 2010)

Wife's application to re-open ancillary relief proceedings on basis of non-disclosure. After 20 years of marriage a decree absolute was finally granted 7 years after separation. A company was created by the husband post-separation. The husband failed to disclose substantial dividend payouts as result of refinancing.

The husband's failure to disclose a refinancing proposal which would have corroborated the wife's accountant's value of the company would not have had a material effect on the award the judge had made. This was because the magnetic factor in the case had been the very long period of separation; the company had been started post separation with no contribution from the wife and had therefore effectively been left out of account by the judge, so the fact that in the light of fuller disclosure it could have been considered to have a significantly higher value did not impact on the result.

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