It is sadly common for divorcees to drag their feet when disclosing their assets, but judges have wide powers to deal with those who fail to cooperate. In one case, a stubborn husband who for almost two years refused to be open about the extent of his wealth was threatened with jail by the High Court.
The husband had been repeatedly ordered to fill in an official form, fully disclosing his assets, but had failed to respond or to attend a number of court hearings. When he did eventually complete the form and serve it on his wife, it was incomplete and lacked supporting documentation in respect of his bank accounts and earnings.
Ruling the husband in contempt and sentencing him to three months’ imprisonment, the Court found that he had been given every opportunity to comply with the orders but had persistently and deliberately sought to defeat or obstruct the wife’s financial claims. The sentence was suspended for 28 days but would come into immediate effect if he failed to fully meet his disclosure obligations within that period.