Securing a fair division of assets following a short marriage

Holly represented a Husband in financial proceedings following a marriage of less than two years. Both parties had come to the marriage with properties of their own, and were able to agree that they should be excluded from the division of assets. The main issue was how the family home – which had been purchased during the marriage – should be divided and whether it should be sold.

The Wife presented her case on a purely arithmetical basis, calculating the contributions she said she made to the property in excess of those made by Holly’s client. Her position was that he should receive 15% of the property and sale should be deferred.

At the FDR hearing Holly was able to secure a helpful indication from the judge, confirming the established case-law that after a short marriage the property should be divided equally to achieve fairness, subject to any significant contributions made by either party. Having heard the indication, the parties continued negotiating and Holly was able to secure 40% of the family home for her client – taking account of the deposit paid by the wife – and an immediate sale.