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Financial Provision

Financial provision — Consent order — Disclosure of material facts — Parties reaching agreement on financial provision — Before consent order sealed wife discovering non-disclosure by husband and applying for order not to be sealed and financial provision hearing to be resumed — Judge finding husband had been dishonest and seriously misled court — Application refused on ground that husband’s non-disclosure not material and sealing order — Whether consent order to be set aside:

27 October 2015

Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury PSC, Baroness Hale of Richmond DPSC, Lord Clarke of Stone-cum-Ebony, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption, Lord Reed, Lord Hodge JJSC

14 October 2015

A court in matrimonial proceedings cannot make a consent order without the valid consent of the parties, but if there were a good reason which vitiated a party’s consent that might be good reason for seeing aside a consent order. The non-disclosure of a material fact which undermined the whole basis on which a consent order had been made was a vitiating factor which was ground for setting aside the order. A party who had practised deception with a view to a particular end which had been attained by it, could not be allowed to deny its materiality.

The Supreme Court so held, allowing an appeal by the wife, Alison Kate Sharland, from a decision on 10 February 2014 of the Court of Appe...

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