As the traditional proverb says: “Marry in haste, repent at leisure” and nothing could be closer to the truth for those marriages that end not long after the confetti has settled.
While once upon a time, you could assume that a divorce court would divide your assets equally, that’s certainly not the case these days and, in particular, for those marriages deemed to be ‘short’.
In a recent Appeal Court case, a city trader successfully managed to challenge the ruling that her ex husband was entitled to half of the fortune that she accumulated during their four year marriage.
Although there are no legal parameters to define a ‘short’ marriage, it’s probably fair to assume it’s one that lasts several years rather than Britney Spears’ record of being married for 55 hours or Kim Kardashian’s 72 days to husband number two.
Senior Associate and Family law expert Harbinder Gosal, said: “This judgement certainly signals a sea change in the way courts will approach the division of assets in a short marriage in the future.
“Generally speaking the starting point when dividing matrimonial assets is equality. But in this case, the woman made a successful argument that there should be a substantial departure from equality because the marriage was short and childless.
“Both parties had kept their finances separate and had both worked. It is quite a change from previous decisions and will be of interest to separating couples who want to protect their assets.
“It’s particularly relevant for those couples where one party has earned more than the other during the marriage and the bulk of the marital wealth comes from them. It could also relate to those people who may have inherited some money or have their assets such as property that they owned before the marriage.
“For those going into a marriage with considerable assets, a pre-nuptial agreement is always worth considering. It may not be the most romantic thing to discuss when you’re preparing to start married life together but it can reduce heartbreak in the long run.”