Millionaire wife fights divorce settlement after cheating husband given HALF her fortune –…

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A city trader who made millions in “eye-watering” bonuses is fighting for a “fair” divorce settlement – after her ex walked away with nearly half the £7million fortune she earned.

Millionaire Julie Sharp was married to ex-husband Robin for four years after they set up home together in 2007.

When they met, both were already earning around £100,000 – with Mr Sharp working as an IT consultant and Mrs Sharp a successful energy trader.

But as the relationship took off she began to rake in massive bonuses due to the “soaring” energy market, Gloucester Live reported .

She amassed bonuses totalling £10.5million in just five years, London’s Civil Appeal Court heard.

On the strength of her “windfall”, they bought two lavish country houses in Gloucestershire – the second with a £2million price tag which cost £500,000 to refurbish.

Mrs Sharp, now 44, took pleasure in giving her partner expensive presents – including a top-of-the-range Aston Martin.

But despite her sudden wealth she was adamant that her husband “didn’t see her as a sort of cash machine”.

Divorcee dragged screaming from court after hearing she might lose home to ex-husband 10 years AFTER they split

In September 2013, Mrs Sharp learnt that her husband “had been pursuing a new relationship for some time”, her QC Frank Feehan, explained.

Their “brief and childless marriage” began to unravel – with Mrs Sharp petitioning for divorce in December 2013.

Their rows over money were hammered out before High Court judge, Sir Peter Singer, who in November 2015 allocated Mr Sharp £2,737,000 in a “clean break” award.

The couple’s total assets amounted to around £6.9million – with virtually all the wealth stemming from the wife.

Mrs Sharp, a mathematics graduate from a “modest financial background” who worked diligently to carve out her high-flying career, is now appealing that ruling.

Mr Feehan criticised the judge’s approach as “intrinsically unfair” in light of the brevity of the marriage, lack of children, and her massive financial contribution.

Despite her stellar earnings, the judge approached the case on the basis of a 50/50 split, although he reduced Mr Sharp’s payout to reflect “unmingled” assets that his wife built up before the marriage.

“The notion that equal sharing applied in this case made for an unprincipled decision,” Mr Feehan told three Appeal Court judges.

Mrs Sharp had proposed that her ex should walk away with £1,197,000, which would more than cover his needs, he added.

Throughout their time together the couple maintained largely separate finances, he added, “earning and spending their own money”.

They took turns to pick up the bill when dining out and, during the marriage, Mr Sharp himself accepted the “bonuses were not his”.

He “went out of his way to explain that he did not see her as a sort of cash machine on whose financial resources he would have a call”, said Mr Feehan.

And although Mrs Sharp had shelled out on “expensive gifts” for her spouse this did not reflect “shared finances”, said the QC.

Robin Sharp was awarded nearly half of his wife’s fortune

One of her gifts was an Aston Martin, but Mr Feehan termed this a “very lavish ‘boy’s toy’ which she was happy to give out of love”.

It was her wealth which enabled the couple to buy their two luxury homes, the court heard – the first of which was acquired by her before they wed.

However, Mr Sharp, aged 43, insists he made a major contribution by project managing and carrying out renovation works on their two properties – particularly after he took redundancy in 2012.

That was after Mrs Sharp bought their second home – in Shurdington, near Cheltenham, a sprawling six-bedroom manor house with two acres attached.

Mr Sharp’s QC, Jonathan Southgate, said he deserved half of the marital pot and there was ample evidence of the couple’s intentions to pool their resources.

Even though Mrs Sharp had not paid her bonuses into a joint account this was common in many “traditional” marriages where the breadwinner retains earnings and “pays housekeeping to the other spouse”, he argued.

Mr Sharp was clear in his evidence that “they agreed he should take redundancy and stay at home – redeveloping their home and supporting their joint life together”.

The couple originally met while Mrs Sharp was working as a coal industry specialist in Swindon, the Appeal Court heard.

She was earning £135,000 yearly, before bonuses, while her spouse, who at one time worked for Cisco, brought in £90,000.

There was no real “intermingling” of their cash during the marriage, claimed Mr Feehan, although Mrs Sharp had paid large cash instalments to her ex during 2013 towards home improvements.

“The documentary evidence is plain,” argued the QC. “There was never a joint approach to funds in this marriage.

“The oral evidence is also plain: the husband accepted clearly that such was the way they lived their life together.”

Mr Southgate, however, backed the High Court judge’s handling of the case.

“The judge found that the evidence did not support her case that there was a deliberate and agreed intention to maintain separate finances,” he told the court.

Overall, the judge’s ruling was in line with “the usual sharing approach to divorce”, the QC argued.

And there were no compelling reasons to “depart from that approach”.

Lords Justice McFarlane, McCombe and David Richards have now reserved their decision on Mrs Sharp’s appeal.

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