In a recent decision, the Court of Appeal have may have reversed a long held assumption that, in a long marriage, the source of the marital wealth has no bearing on the division of the assets in a divorce.
In the case in question, Hart v Hart, the 23-year duration of the marriage was held not to have erased the non-matrimonial status of Mr Hart's pre-marital assets and Mrs Hart's share of the £9.4m assets was reduced from half to £3.5m as a result.
Judgment was handed down on 31 August 2017, and it went against Karen Hart. Moylan J said the High Court 'was plainly entitled to find that the husband had substantial wealth at the commencement of the relationship, because this was agreed'. Mr Hart, who was already in his 50s when the couple married back in 1987, had already amassed GBP2.6 million and considerable property assets. He concluded that, despite the length of the marriage, an equal division would be unfair to the husband.