Husband receives a short Sharp shock.

A City trader has won her appeal against a High Court order, awarding her husband an equal division of the matrimonial capital, after a marriage of just four years.

Julie Sharp, a City trader, argued that as both parties had worked, there were no children and they had largely kept their finances separate, it would be unfair to award her ex-husband Robin Sharp part of her £10.5 million bonuses.

The Court of Appeal agreed and Mr Sharp’s award was cut by £700,000, leaving him with just 28 % of the assets overall.

The judgment is likely to make it easier for parties to argue that in suitable cases, there should not be automatic sharing of the wealthier party’s non-family assets. The equal sharing principle established in the case of White v White in 2000 should not be treated as a strict formula and the Court must pay regard to the length of the marriage and the way in which the parties had organised their finances.

The case is likely to affect many divorcing parties currently in negotiations as to the split of their assets and Mundays would be happy to advise if you are unsure about your position. Please contact Judith Fitton, Family Law Partner or any other member of the Family Department at Mundays LLP.

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