Divorce settlement unaffected by presence of new partner

Divorce and separation

The UK’s most senior family judge, Sir James Munby, has offered a useful reminder of the effect of a new partner on a divorce settlement.

John Hart, a businessman with a £10 million fortune, was appealing a previous judgment that awarded his ex-wife, Karen Hart, a £3.5 million divorce settlement. Mr Hart told the Court of Appeal that the settlement was unfair because his wife had effectively ‘been living as man and wife with somebody [else] for years’.

Mrs Hart’s lawyer accepted that she was in a long-term relationship with another man with whom she lived, but argued that she was entitled to maintain her financial independence. Sir James Munby agreed, ruling that the ‘presence of [Mrs Hart’s] new partner in her life did not diminish her needs’, so the original £3.5 million award stands.

This judgment reaffirms a well-established position. David Young, Senior Partner and Family Law specialist, commented: “This is the latest in a long line of court decisions confirming that in financial remedy proceedings, unsurprisingly, it’s all about the money. If a new partner has no material impact upon the financial circumstances of a party to divorce proceedings, then the impact is generally minimal.”

Expert divorce solicitors in East Sussex

At Gaby Hardwicke we offer every client in divorce, separation and children matters a 20 to 30-minute First Consultation with one of our Family Law partners, in confidence and without obligation, to establish whether our professional services are needed.

For expert advice on divorce and separation matters please contact one of our Family Law partners:

Previous ArticleNext Article