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Is there something I should know? Disclosure and non-disclosure in the family court: Part 1

Date:25 JUL 2016
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In NG v SG (Appeal: Non-Disclosure) [2011] EWHC 3270 (Fam) [2012] 1 FLR 1211 Mostyn J described non-disclosure as ‘the bane which strikes at the very integrity of the adjudicative process’ (para [1]). Without full disclosure the court ‘cannot … lawfully and properly exercise its powers’ (Lord Brandon in Jenkins v Livesey (Formerly Jenkins) [1985] FLR 813 at 822) and is ‘thrown back on inference and guess-work within an exercise which inevitably costs a fortune and which may well result in an unjust result to one or other party’ (NG v SG para [1]). As the Court of Appeal stated in Charman v Charman (No 4) [2007] EWCA Civ 503 [2007] 1 FLR 1246 at para [67] ‘the starting point of every inquiry in an application [for] ancillary relief is the financial position of the parties. The inquiry is always in two stages namely computation and distribution; logically the former precedes the latter.’ How can a court proceed to distribute assets fairly if it has not been told what they are? On 14 October 2015 the Supreme Court decisions in Sharland v...

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