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There has been a landmark ruling in the Court of Appeal this week in relation to short marriages and the division of assets following the breakdown of a short marriage.

In general, when parties separate the starting point for dealing with the financial consequences of the marriage breakdown is a 50/50 split of assets. This can of course be departed from in certain circumstances based upon the needs of the parties and also taking into account any children of the marriage.

Julie Sharp was married to her husband Robin Sharp for four years. Julie built up a large proportion of her wealth during the marriage. There were no children of the marriage.

Initially, Mr Sharp was awarded half of the matrimonial pot amounting to £2.725 million by the Court.

On the basis that the parties were married for 4 years and therefore this was seemingly a 'short' marriage, Mrs Sharp successfully appealed in the Court of Appeal that Mr Sharp should not be entitled to half of the matrimonial pot. It was Ordered that Mr Sharp would receive £2million instead of the £2.725 million.

The outcome of Mrs Sharp's Application is likely to be a landmark change for short marriages moving forward. It is clear that the Court now give sufficient weight to the length of a marriage when determining the outcome of any financial Application.

There are of course may other factors to consider when determining such an Application. The incomes of the parties, the provision for future capital, housing needs and the needs of any children will have to be considered in the round along with the length of the marriage.

At Ramsdens we have specialist Resolution Trained Family Lawyers who have a wide range of experience in dealing with Separation, Divorce and the Financial aspects of a marriage breakdown.

We focus on resolving matters in a non-confrontational way. If you feel that you need our help following separation then please do not hesitate to contact us to book a free 30 minute consultation at any of our 12 West Yorkshire offices. You can call us free on 08000 147720.