Does the length of your marriage affect finances on divorce?

by Kidd Rapinet on February 10, 2022
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The law in England requires the court to consider the length of a marriage when deciding how matrimonial property and finances should be divided on divorce and separation.

What is a ‘short marriage’?

Usually it is viewed a 5 year or less but in the landmark case of Sharp v Sharp, the court departed from this perception and a marriage of 6 years including a prior cohabitation of 18 months was viewed as a short marriage. However, you should note that financial contributions to a relationship will be considered from the date you began living together and not just from the date of marriage until usually the date of separation and not necessarily the date of the end of the legal marriage.

The division of assets

In the majority of marriages, assets should be divided equally between the parties. This “equality” should then be adjusted according to the parties’ reasonable needs. It is sometimes appropriate in short marriage cases for assets acquired before the relationship to be ringfenced and excluded from the matrimonial ‘pot’. The court considers  a departure from equality if there are certain factors to consider such as;

  • Are there any children?
  • Is it a short marriage?
  • Is the income dual?
  • Are the finances separated?

In essence, where a marriage has been short and there are no children, the court may require the couple to undertake a financial clean break order so that neither party to the divorce has any further financial interest in the other’s affairs.

This article was brought to you by Kidd Rapinet Solicitors Aylesbury.  You can speak to any of the family lawyers across our other offices in Canary Wharf, Farnham, High Wycombe, Maidenhead and Slough, using the form provided.  Please use the links provided to find more information on divorce or separation, child arrangements and other areas of family law.

These materials and content have been prepared for the benefit of their viewers/readers. They are intended for marketing purposes only and are of a general nature and do not constitute legal advice applicable to any particular facts or circumstances. Kidd Rapinet LLP and/or the author(s) accept no duty of care, responsibility or liability for any loss or damage which you or any third party may suffer as a result of any reliance or use by you or them of these marketing materials and content, except to the extent it is not legally possible to exclude such liability. If you require legal advice on your own situation, please contact us so we can discuss how we may assist.

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