Without a post-separation agreement, both parties could feel they are in the dark when deciding, allocating and discussing the placement of finances or other belongings. Recently, ex EastEnders star Adam Woodyatt and his estranged wife, Beverley Sharp, have made the news over Adam’s recent £250k signing on fee for ITV series ‘I’m a Celebrity’. The couple split in 2019 after 21 years of marriage, but as the divorce has not yet been finalised, is his estranged wife entitled to any of the fees?

What are Financial Settlements and Pre-Nuptial Agreements?

A financial settlement is a legally binding contract stating how assets and wealth will be split when the marriage ends. Often this agreement gets neglected due to the overwhelming and emotional nature of separation and divorce. Whether Woodyatt and Sharp have separation or post-nuptial agreements intended to provide financial stability after a split is unknown.

Sharp has recently been pictured shopping for discount groceries, and she has also allegedly spoken out regarding Adam’s ‘I’m a Celebrity’ signing, saying she is ‘unimpressed’. So, should it be that if Sharp is struggling financially (other than her being spotted buying ‘budget’ groceries, as many do, there has been no other suggestion that this is the case) should she be entitled to a portion of Woodyatt’s post-separation fortune to meet her needs?

Reportedly, Sharp is living in their pre-existing Warwickshire home whilst Adam tours with a theatre company. She also receives interim maintenance – suggesting her income needs are being met whilst she remains in the family home, so if that is the case, is there cause for concern in terms of her ‘needing’ a proportion of Adam’s newfound fortune, or instead is she entitled, due to a lack thereof, to a financial settlement or post-nuptial agreement?

What could be done?

Post-separation accrual tends to fall into categories, including:

  • New Ventures
  • Passive Economic Growth on a Matrimonial Asset
  • Active Economic Growth on a Matrimonial Asset

Previously, public separation cases have brought to light questions concerning whether a party’s earning capacity could be treated as a ‘Matrimonial Asset’ – meaning the spouse would be entitled to continued income sharing. In the case of Waggott v Waggott (2016), this possibility was rejected because the extension of the principle to share would undermine the court’s ability to define a break between the couple.

In the case of Woodyatt and Sharp, the outcome is likely to be ultimately resolved depending on what Woodyatt is willing to offer, as well as what assets are deemed matrimonial.

Expert Family Solicitors

If you require assistance regarding relationship breakdown, the expert and sensitive family solicitors at Beverley Morris & Co. can help you ensure the process is dealt with in the best way possible.

We will carefully guide you through the process, no matter your situation or specific requirements.

Contact us today for an initial meeting with an expert family solicitor who will offer you advice on proceeding, highlighting all options available alongside approximated costs.