An eagerly awaited court ruling tomorrow could have a major impact on divorce cases involving ‘short’ marriages.
The Court of Appeal is due to hand down judgment in a case brought by energy trader Julie Sharp. She is challenging a judgment that awarded her ex-husband £2.74m, based on an equal division of assets, following a four-year childless marriage. ‘Long-established case law demonstrates that where assets are built up during a marriage, they should be shared equally, regardless of its length. If Mrs Sharp succeeds in overturning this judgment, it could have a significant impact on “short marriage” cases going forward, eroding the long-standing principle in relation to matrimonial property. ‘This triggers the question, how short does a marriage need to be in order to be defined as short? And from what point is one entitled to share the money earned by the other?’