Legal Hypothetical: Julie outfoxes the fox

BRIAN and Julie married in the 1990s and enjoyed a strong marriage. Brian ran a successful business with the support of Julie and for several decades life was bliss.

However, during COVID Brian and Julie spent considerably more time together, which led to tension between them and eventually they separated.

Following their separation, both parties sought independent legal advice and ultimately executed a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA) to settle their property and financial matters.

However, Brian had been foxy about his financial situation.

During the period leading up to the property settlement, Brian had been siphoning money from the business and undertaking numerous cash-jobs, deliberately manipulating the company’s accounts.

Julie, during a regular meeting with her accountant, discussed the outcome of the property settlement and raised questions regarding the valuation of the business.

Her accountant offered to investigate the company’s records that were provided by Brian during the settlement negotiation.

The investigation uncovered evidence of Brian’s deliberate non-disclosure of income and manipulation of company asset values.

Armed with this new information, Julie approached the Court to have the BFA set aside, arguing that Brian had intentionally concealed his financial position.

The Court found in Julie’s favour, concluding that Brian had indeed failed to disclose his cash earnings, leading to a significant undervaluation of the business.

As a result, the Court made an additional allocation of assets to Julie and ordered Brian to cover the Court costs.

This case illustrates a critical legal principle, that full disclosure is not merely a procedural formality but a fundamental requirement to ensure fair and equitable outcomes in marital separations.

The Court’s ruling underscores the serious consequences of attempting to deceive the legal system and the importance of maintaining integrity and transparency throughout the process.

Thank you to Anthony Fogarty for his assistance with this column.

Email Manny Wood, principal solicitor at TB Law at or call him on (02) 66 487 487.

This column is only accurate at today’s date and cannot be relied upon as legal advice.

By Manny WOOD, Solicitor

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