At least one in 10 men in Britain would hide their assets from their exes to avoid paying their fair share in court, according to a survey.

Women are at risk of losing out in divorce proceedings on their 50 per cent share, family law firm Mishcon de Reya found.

Almost one in three couples (29 per cent) do not know exactly how much their partner earns and two in three (63 per cent) maintain separate bank accounts, the research revealed.

More than one in 10 people (12 per cent) conceal the true cost of high-value items such as cars and jewellery, with 56 per cent admitting to hiding receipts, documents and statements to keep their partner in the dark.

Among young married couples aged 18 to 24, one in 10 ( nine per cent) said they keep secret investments.

Law firm partner David Lister said: “This research certainly proves something that we’ve seen in the profession for a long time, that during a divorce a partner will hide assets from their ex-spouse in order to keep hold of more than their fair share after the dust has settled.

“How can a judge determine what a 50 per cent split, or other arrangement, of a couple’s wealth should be if the true value of the 100 per cent to be divided has been concealed?

“The research also proves that many people, men in particular, have already prepared for this in the unfortunate event of a divorce, by hiding their true personal worth from the beginning.”

The survey come after the high profile divorce case of property magnate Vivian Imerman and Lisa Tchenguiz in which it was ruled that papers Mr Imerman withheld from the case and obtained by his ex-wife were inadmissible in court.

Mr Lister said: “The outcome of the Imerman vs Tchenguiz case proves that the non-disclosure of personal value could be very beneficial to the wealthier spouse when entering a divorce case.

“It means that without sufficient advice prior to divorce proceedings, spouses may not be getting what they are entitled to within the law as it stands.”

He continued: “What is also interesting to consider is that those surveyed were couples that are currently together, and not undergoing divorce proceedings.

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