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Women win landmark divorce ruling appeal

By Brian Farmer

Published 15/10/2015

Varsha Gohil (left) and Alison Sharland outside the Supreme Court in Westminster
Varsha Gohil (left) and Alison Sharland outside the Supreme Court in Westminster

Two divorcees who accused their ex-husbands of lying about their true wealth have won their Supreme Court battle for the right to seek more money from them.

In a landmark ruling which lawyers said could open the floodgates for similar claims, the UK's highest court upheld challenges by Alison Sharland (48), from Wilmslow, Cheshire, and Varsha Gohil (50), from north London.

Mrs Sharland said afterwards: "I am relieved and delighted that the Supreme Court judges have ruled in our favour. I hope that their decision sends out a message to everyone going through a divorce that they cannot lie in the family courts and get away with it.

"My legal battle has never been about the money, it has always been a matter of principle."

Mrs Gohil said: "There are absolutely no winners in divorce and more than a thought has to be given to the children of families locked in this type of litigation. The emotional strain of it is huge on everyone."

Law firm Irwin Mitchell, which represented both women, said the Supreme Court decision would have implications.

"This judgment sends out the clear message that dishonesty will not be tolerated," said solicitor Ros Bever, who works for Irwin Mitchell. "Both women found themselves in an unfair situation where they were duped into accepting a smaller settlement than they may have been entitled to."

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