O'Dwyer v O'Dwyer [2019] is the first reported case to specifically apply the principles laid out by the Court of Appeal in Waggott v Waggott [2018], ie that an earning capacity is not a matrimonial asset to which the sharing principle applies, that it may be fair for a spouse to look to their sharing award to meet their future income needs and that compensation is limited to the 'disadvantage' sustained by the party who has given up a career.

The case was heard by Francis J, on appeal from an order made by HHJ O'Dwyer (the case took his name to preserve anonymity for the parties). HHJ O'Dwyer had given his judgment prior to the Court of Appeal's decision in Waggott.

Camilla Thornton appears in the Family Law Journal to discuss the approach to earning capacity and the application of the sharing principle post-Wagott. She considers whether this case demonstrates that a less formulaic approach should be adopted by the High Court in divorce settlements, and promotes the trend towards requiring individuals to have greater responsibility for their own financial independence after divorce.

'Financial Provision: Towards a clean break' is available to read here or on the Family Law Journal website.  

Camilla is a consultant in the family team, based in the Bedford Row office. She is highly regarded by her peers, has over 25 years experience in family law and is a collaborative lawyer and Resolution trained mediator. She advises on all aspects of family law including divorce, separation, financial settlements, cohabitation and matters involving children.