Not SECRET If It’s On Your Phone
Nicola Furmston, Senior Family Solicitor at Kerseys looks at the statement:
Just because it’s on your phone it doesn’t make it secret!
During any divorce, there is an obligation to provide full disclosure so that the court and both parties have the full financial picture before making decisions about how to divide the finances.
This can include being ordered to deliver up electronic devices to the court and the other party (usually through their solicitor) and provide access to cloud storage.
An order for this can be made against both a spouse and a relevant third party.
In a recent case the third party was the divorcing couple’s son, who was said to have colluded with the husband to thwart the wife from enforcing an order against the husband to pay to her a divorce settlement of £453 million.
The son willfully ignored the court order and the judge went on to make a search order against a premises from which 47 devices belonging to the son were seized. On just four of these devices over 80,000 documents were revealed.
The remaining devices had still to be searched and the judge had no idea how many items would eventually be found.
What This Means for You
While this was a big money case the principle of delivery and search would apply to a case of smaller value if the threshold conditions for making such an order are met.
In a digital age the principle of disclosure will not just apply to paper documents and if draconian measures and unnecessary increases in legal costs are to be avoided, full financial disclosure should be given at the earliest possible opportunity.Divorce
How Kerseys Can Help
Kerseys fully qualified team of family law solicitors are here to help you, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or telephone us on Ipswich 01473 213311 or Colchester 01206 584584, alternatively if you would prefer us to call you please visit our web site and click “Call Me Back”.