Asset Splitting in Short Marriages

9th July 2017

Judges in a recent Court of Appeal case have slashed a husband’s financial settlement after the wife challenged the amount given to her husband by a divorce court. The settlement gave the husband half of their £5.45 million fortune after a four year marriage. The wife argued that this pay out to her husband was completely unfair given her overwhelming contribution to that financial position. The Judges concluded that a short marriage, no children, dual incomes and separate finances are sufficient to justify departure from the equal sharing principal in order to achieve fairness. Although initially the parties were on a fairly similar income when they married, the wife’s income increased substantially to the extent that she received bonus payments of more than a million per year. Both parties had worked full time for most of the marriage and the husband had sought to argue that therefore his contribution was equal, even if the incomes from it were not. The Court of Appeal however agreed with the wife and slashed the amount the husband received by £700,000.This is a sea change as it has previously been understood that assets built up in the marriage no matter what their source, would be shared equally. 

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