Posted by Simon Bassett, Partner
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Bishop “hid funds” in divorce battle
A senior clergyman has been criticised by the family courts, who have concluded that he failed to disclose “significant resources” during his divorce proceedings.
It has emerged that the bishop, who previously worked as a banker, had hundreds of thousands of pounds hidden in offshore accounts.
Judge Richard Robinson ruled that the man’s financial disclosure to his estranged wife had been less than frank.
He ordered that the bishop, who has not been named, transfer a London property – plus other oversea assets – to his former wife .
The case has come to light through court papers, after an element of the dispute was referred to a more senior judge, Justice Moor, sitting in the family division of the High Court.
“Adverse inferences were drawn as [the bishop’s] disclosure was found to be lamentable and not frank,” said Mr Justice Moor.
“The finding was that he had hundreds of thousands of pounds in offshore accounts/investments along with further undisclosed assets.”
Prior to the breakdown of their marriage, the couple, both in their 50s, had lived in a £825,000 home in South-West London. The man had been ordained by the Anglican Church and later took a ministry overseas, while his wife is employed as a health service manager.
The case is one of several which have recently highlighted the risks of a party not disclosing their finances in full. Those found to have concealed assets can be subject to significant penalties, such as being ordered to pay the other side’s legal costs or receiving a less favourable settlement.
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