The long and short of it

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Short Marriage

The Court of Appeal is shortly due to deliver a Judgment in the case brought by an energy trader Julie Sharp where she is challenging a Judgment that awarded her ex husband 2.74 million pounds based on an equal division of assets following a childless short marriage, of just four years.

Because of the long established principle set down via Case Law where assets are built up during a marriage they should be shared equally irrespective of the length of marriage.

It has to be said that if Mrs Sharp is successful in her Appeal then this would have a significant impact on short marriage cases with the aforesaid long established principle being eroded. This begs the question as to what is a ‘short marriage’ and from what stage in the marriage is one party entitled to claim money earned by the other.

Certain commentators have expressed the view that gender is an issue in this particular case but that would not appear to be borne out by the evidence.

The surest way of ring fencing assets particularly those acquired or accrued before marriage is to enter into a Pre Nuptial Agreement. Such agreements are increasingly being treated by the Courts as, at the very least, persuasive evidence of the intention of the parties.

Here at WSP we have a Family Team who can advise on the financial side of marital breakdown and the drafting of Pre Nuptial Agreements and Cohabitation Agreements.

Contact our Family Team today to discuss your circumstances.

Or read more Family Law articles from our team.


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