Two ex-wives win right to seek more money

Two ex-wives who claimed they should get more money after divorcing have won a Supreme Court victory which legal experts think will have wide implications.

Alison Sharland, 48, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, and Varsha Gohil, 50, from north London, both said their ex-husbands had misled judges about how much they were worth.

Both wanted their claims re-analysed at fresh hearings.

Supreme Court justices, who analysed the disputes at a hearing in London in June, ruled in favour of the women.

Alison Sharland said she hoped that the ruling would send a message to divorcing couples. Varsha Gohil said other wives owed her lawyers a debt of gratitude.

Legal experts said the ruling could “open the floodgates” and “fire the starting gun”.

The Supreme Court heard that both women had reached agreements with their ex-husbands after beginning litigation, but both subsequently thought that they had been misled.

Alison Sharland had accepted more than £10m in cash and properties from ex-husband Charles, 54, three years ago.

Varsha Gohil had accepted £270,000 plus a car from ex-husband Bhadresh, 50, more than a decade ago.

The court heard that Alison Sharland claimed she was misled her over the value of a business.

Lawyers said she had thought the business was valued at between £31m and £47m but reports in the financial press put the value at £1bn.

Varsha Gohil’s husband had been convicted of money laundering following their divorce. Neither woman has yet said how much they are seeking.

Sharland said she was “relieved and delighted”.

“My legal battle has never been about the money, it has always been a matter of principle,” she said.

“I entered into an agreement with my estranged husband thinking that it was a fair one.

“I believed that the net result was an equal division of our assets which had accrued during our marriage and so, in my opinion, 50% was fair. Unfortunately, the evidence was manipulated by my estranged husband.”

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 price they pay is a very heavy one.”


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