In any divorce settlement, whether the marriage lasted for ten months or ten years, the law aims always to see non-discriminatory division of financial resources and to ensure that each member of the family, especially children of the marriage, are treated fairly and their well-being is not compromised.
Length of marriage is one factor considered significant under English and Welsh family, and commitment shown over 20 years, for instance, will be reflected in a divorce settlement. However, a short marriage does not necessarily mean that a court will not apply similar rules during the financial claim.
Indeed, the court will be concerned to ensure that any short marriage divorce settlement reflects the parties’ abilities to support themselves, and any dependents, and to earn a living after the divorce. Consideration will be given to the value of pre-wedding assets and property, and in cases where there is a large disparity in pre-marriage wealth the court will attempt to ensure that each party leaves the union with a similar value of property and assets that they entered it with.
It has been well-documented that cohabitees do not have the same rights in family law as married couples and that a financial claim after cohabitee relationship breakdown will not be treated the same way as for a married couple. However, if a couple has lived together for a considerable length of time before getting married and the relationship fails a short time after the wedding, the court will take the length of cohabitation into consideration when evaluating the division of finances and property on divorce.
In many divorce settlements after long relationships, especially where there are children involved, there will be financial ties which may have to be maintained for some time after the divorce is finalised. For instance, when a couple’s only major asset is a family home, it is often ruled that the ex-wife and children should live in the house until such a time that the children are no longer dependent on her care and, at this time, the house will be sold and the capital divided between the former spouses.
However, after a short marriage and where there are no children, a family court will often order a clean-break settlement which will see no further financial obligations held between the former spouses and each will leave the marriage with a specified sum. Although a clean-break settlement may seem a straightforward option, it is important to get expert legal advice when negotiating this type of short marriage divorce settlement, as once the court has delivered their judgment it may be difficult, or even impossible, to vary the order.
George Ide’s team of divorce solicitors in Chichester have many years’ experience in guiding clients to successful outcomes in financial settlements on divorce.
We have helped many clients bring a financial claim on divorce against their former spouse and we also act for those who need to defend a claim.
To speak to a member of team regarding a divorce financial settlement, please call our Chichester offices today. We look forward to offering you our services during your divorce.