The Court of Appeal have recently heard the appeal of Karen Hart and found in favour of the husband, not allowing the appeal.
Ms Hart was married for 23 years and she received from the court just over 37% of the capital matrimonial assets on the divorce (£3.5 million out of a £9.4 million estate). She appealed for 50%.
Generally, after a long marriage there is an equal sharing of the assets created during the marriage. In this case, the Judge found that the financial contribution of the husband and his pre-marital contribution outweighed the domestic contribution of the wife, despite the length of the marriage. He came into the marriage with a lot of wealth and the first Judge and the Court of Appeal felt that it was fair to remove that from the matrimonial pot before dividing it between the parties.
Experts are suggesting that parties with ‘pre-marital’ assets draw up pre-nuptial agreements before marriage, setting out what these assets are and agreeing what should happen to them upon divorce. This may be helpful in cases where there is high wealth. In most cases, the pre-marital assets have to be included in settlements to ensure that both parties needs are met.
If you are considering a pre-nuptial agreement, please take early advice from our Family Law solicitor, Jane Lodeto.