The British divorce court sided with a English lady who was a stock market whiz person who made $13 million dollars during her marriage. Originally the Divorce Court had sided with the ex spouse husband and gave him a cut of all her stock earnings thus making him quite wealthy upon a short term marriage. Julie Sharp a stock trader by profession in England reduced significantly her husbands share to only $2 million dollars rather than the traditional split down the middle. Why did the family law court in England do so? Well the time honored scenario of the equal split down the middle for spouses did not seem to sit well with them. In California family law Court Spousal support is used to determine the standard of living scenario to make the ex spouses live according to the standard they had while married. This situation usually has more impact upon lengthy marriages. In California a long term marriage would be considered 10 years or more.
Mrs. Sharp was an energy trade on the British stock exchange. In 2015 the British family law Court made a ruling giving her ex 2.74 million pounds. Later the London appeals Court lowered it to 2 million pounds. The London appeals court has been on a recent trend of not equally splitting the assets as it had done in the past to achieve a fair and equitable distribution of a divorced couples assets. Now they have changed and seem to be permitting the ex spouse whom may be the bread winner to keep more of their earnings and shortchanging the less wealthy ex spouse with less money. Thus it appears the London appellate court is deviating from fairness to a more of who makes more money prevails attitude.
They further state that nonworking spouses will be awarded “special contributions” for their time in the marriage. What exactly is a special contribution is uncertain. It seems to be a new trend that certainly favors the spouse who makes more money and takes away from the spouse who does not work. The idea that there is a financial partnership among married people is starting to be thing of the past and is a disturbing trend on the idea of marriage in the United Kingdom. The benefits of marriage seem to be seem to be on the downside in British culture. Nothing like this has arrived in California or United States just yet. However, if ever this type of ruling did appear I assume it will be fought with great zeal in the Family Law Court system.
The British Court system seems to be emphasizing the length of the marriage and the lack of children from the marriage. In addition, they viewed evidence that showed Julie Sharp seem to fund the relationship and gifted Robin Sharp the husband with numerous expensive gifts. In California law gifting would be interpreted to be separate property of the recipient unless otherwise contracted or transmuted by the spouse. Its unclear if the British Appeals court was just doing what it thought to be equitable and fair under these facts. We will see what happens in the future.