Businesswoman believes Britain should overhaul its divorce laws

Julie Arnold, a successful businesswoman, has been involved in a landmark legal battle

A City trader whose husband was originally handed half their £5.45million fortune has called for divorce laws to be changed to better reflect the realities of modern-day relationships.

Julie Arnold, a successful businesswoman, has been involved in a landmark legal battle, having challenged the settlement previously made to her husband.

The marriage had come to an end after less than four years, following allegations that Ms Arnold’s then spouse, Robin Sharp, had been unfaithful. A 50:50 settlement was subsequently agreed by the High Court last June.

This week, the Court of Appeal agreed that the size of the pay-out was “intrinsically unfair” and the sum that Mr Sharp will receive was reduced to £2million. This will comprise of the couple £1.1million home and a £900,000 cash sum.

Lord Justice MacFarlane, who had been asked to review the case, had argued that a departure from the principle of an equal division of assets could be justified in this particular case. Notably, the husband and wife had kept their assets separate after marrying and had no children together.

Ms Arnold believes that current legislation has failed to keep pace with changing times, arguing that couples are marrying later in life and remaining together for shorter periods of time compared to when the laws were original drafted.

“Matrimonial law relies on a 1973 Act and distributes wealth based on case law involving a couple who married in 1961 and stayed together for 30 years,” she told The Daily Telegraph.

“Our life is different now and there will be more and more couples who divorce after shorter marriages before they have children.”