Divorce occurs for a number of reasons, but when filing for divorce, a couple must file for either a fault or a no fault divorce. In a no fault divorce, the couple has differences that are not reconcilable and they are not able to mend their marriage. Fault divorces, on the other hand, are filed when one spouse is blaming the dissolution of the marriage on the other for a specific reason. Reasons for fault divorces include adultery, abandonment over a certain period of time, emotional or physical abuse, and fraud, among others. While not all states require the same elements or have the same grounds for fault divorce, these are the most common.
Among these reasons, fraud can be the most controversial. The impact of fraud on the relationship can vary depending on when it occurred and to what extent the marriage was entered into because of it. Fraud can be grounds for an annulment when the spouse grossly misrepresented issues, events, or wealth to a spouse who would not have entered into the marriage had he or she known the truth. If one spouse uses this as a grounds to file divorce, he or she must show the court the wrongdoing through evidence, which the opposing spouse has the opportunity to rebut.
Fraud includes misrepresenting wealth, either by overstating or understating it to induce the marriage or as a way to pay less spousal support during divorce proceedings, or lying about previous marriages or children. In the case of a same sex couple in the United Kingdom, where one partner misrepresented her wealth to the court as a way to have her former spouse accept a lower settlement, the case is being reopened. The couple was together for 18 years and when their marriage dissolved, she accepted a settlement based on the court’s assessment of wealth and what was fair, but after her former partner passed, she was later informed that the former spouse’s estate was worth much more than she had known.
The Court of Appeal will be listening to her right to set aside the original settlement and argue for a new settlement amount. While these instances are rare, they do occur when the court finds a great disparity such as the one presented. Critics worry that cases like these have the potential to open up this area of divorce to jam the court system and further stifle the divorce process.
Need to Settle Your Divorce?
Settling your divorce should be a quick and fair process. If you or someone you know settled with a spouse due to misrepresentation, we can help you get the settlement they deserved in the first place. Do not hesitate to call the legal team at Lawrence Law Office today at (614) 228 – 3664 for a consultation or email us using our website or [email protected]. We will help you get the results you deserve.