On the morning of Tuesday 13th June 2017, the Court of Appeal delivered its Judgment on Julie Sharp’s appeal against awarding her ex-husband an equal division of their wealth.
Robin Sharp was not entitled to an equal share of his ex-wife Julie’s fortune and cut £725,000 from his award, judges ruled. Judges also ruled that a £2million slice of the £5.45million family fortune was all Mr Sharp deserved after a short and childless marriage.
Graeme Fraser, Partner in the Family Department at Hunters Solicitors, commented:
‘Today’s judgment further opens up the court’s discretion regarding the length of the marriage, particularly if the couple have no children, both are in full time employment and keep at least a proportion of their finances separate.
‘Increasingly, couples will live together before they get married or enter into civil partnerships, and this has resulted in effectively increasing the length of the marriage when the court exercises its discretion about how much to award each spouse.
‘The courts may expect more arguments about when a couple have started to cohabit in future cases following Mrs Sharp’s success. This is particularly relevant for same sex couples, for many of whom same sex marriage and civil partnership was not available until the relatively recent introduction of legislation.
‘The Courts will not apply an automatic or blind application of 50/50 in every case as all the circumstances of the case must be considered.’