Court of Appeal ruling could spark a rise in prenuptial agreements
- A recent case in the Court of Appeal which has ultimately found that that the financial contribution of one spouse had outweighed the other, without sufficient evidence of this could increase the number of prenuptial agreements.
- The ongoing case of Hart v Hart has highlighted the value of pre-nups for net worth individuals.
At a Glance:
The Court of Appeal has ruled that Mrs Karen Hart is not entitled to an equal share in her husband’s assets, which goes against usual procedure for divorce cases. In an odd turn of events a trial Judge has found that the financial contribution of one spouse had outweighed the other, despite the fact that this had not been properly evidenced. Many expect that this could lead to an increase in prenuptial agreements.
A Court of Appeal decision in the long-running case of Hart v Hart could lead to a rise in prenuptial agreements in the near future, it has been suggested.
Wealthy property developer Mr John Hart and air hostess Mrs Karen Hart were married for 23 years.
Reports in the press suggest that the couple had two children together and enjoyed a “life of luxury,” sharing a £1.1 million mansion, driving prestige cars and taking regular family holidays to their other two properties in Florida and Spain.
In June 2015, when the couple divorced, Lord Justice Moylan awarded Mrs Hart a sum of £3.5 million out of total resources of just under £9.4 million – a settlement which the disgruntled air hostess later argued was “unfair and discriminatory.”
A spokesperson on behalf of Mrs Hart added that the settlement “should have been based on an equal sharing of the assets they created between them during this time.”
Mrs Hart subsequently took the case to the Court of Appeal, where her bid for an equal share of her ex-husband’s assets was dismissed – a move which commentators believe could spark a rise in prenuptial agreements.
Experts have also said that the ruling “leaves the law in a state of flux,” due to the fact that it effectively allowed a trial Judge to find that the financial contribution of one spouse had outweighed the other, despite the fact that this had not been “properly evidenced.”