Having departed from the principle of equal sharing of assets, it seems to me that the court has left as complete hostages to fortune people who may in future get divorced.
What exactly are we talking about here? The breakdown of any marriage is a failure by one or both parties in respect of a lifelong commitment.
So what exactly is a ‘short’ marriage? The courts have shied way from defining this, probably because it is like trying to say how long is a piece of string.
This failure at an early stage is, however, an indicator that one or both had a limited commitment to marriage so why should the simple fact of ‘marriage’ have a bearing on who gets what?
There is surely a very strong argument in cases where both parties have sufficient assets and there are no children to complicate things to leave each party in precisely the position they are now in.
Trying to deliberate and find a ‘just’ division will simply result in asking judges to take an arbitrary decision based on a multitude of their own biases and principles formed through numerous other cases in which they have been involved.
Quite frankly, you or I could probably tackle the issue and do just as well.
Upon reflection, parties in such a position prior to marriage would be well advised to enter into a pre-nup and opt for certainty after all.
John Greenwood, Chippenham