Withholding information in a procedure? Better not!

published by: Fabrizia de Wit-Facchetti posted on October 14, 2014 reading time

Can withholding information during proceedings have far-reaching consequences? Under Article 21 of the Dutch Code of Civil Procedure, the parties are obliged to inform a court fully and truthfully of the facts that are relevant to the decision. A recent alimony case in Den Bosch Court of Appeal showed just how far-reaching the consequences can be if one fails to do so.

A husband and wife divorced in 2001. After the divorce, the court ordered the husband to pay the wife alimony. In 2011, the man asks the court to order that the amount of alimony to be paid by him be set at nil and that the woman repay the alimony she has already received. The husband suspects that the woman is working and therefore no longer needs alimony, moreover, the man no longer has sufficient financial means to pay the amount of €3,558.58 in alimony per month.

It is only after the husband has called in a detective agency that it becomes apparent that the woman has indeed been working in Germany for years. The Court of Appeal eventually decides on appeal that the man does not have to pay alimony as of 2011 and that the woman has to pay back the alimony of €62,567.20 to the man. In addition, the woman has to pay the costs of the detective agency and the man's legal costs.

Had she correctly informed the court about her income, it would probably have become clear that she should have received no or less alimony since 2011, but in any case she would not have been ordered to pay the costs of the detective agency and the husband's legal costs.

If you have questions about alimony or also suspect that the correct information was not taken into account in your case when determining alimony amounts, please contact us.