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Definition of a short marriage.

  • NatJones7281
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22 Aug 12 #351249 by NatJones7281
Topic started by NatJones7281
I am helping my mum with her divorce settlement and the first hearing is pending. I have seen on here people making reference to a ''short childless marriage'' - can anyone define what is considered a short marriage? To give some background, mum married a Tunisian national and he came to live here in September 2006 - they separated in April 2011 - married in September 2005 in Tunisia. He is now looking for half of the equity in the house - all despite not making financial contributions towards his keep or the bills (apart from a 12 month period where he had full time employment and paid around £100 a week).

  • Bobbinalong
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22 Aug 12 #351252 by Bobbinalong
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I think I am right in saying a short marriage is a couple of years, where you take out what you put in.
Generally with kids the short marriage tends to fall off over say 4 years, I would say that without kids, a short marriage can be deemed to be longer, the theory being that the two people go back more easily to how they were before marriage so you might get away with say six years or slightly more being deemed a short marriage, mush longer than that and it is assumed that the wealth of each is more divided and each has become accustomed to living to the standard they can achieve together.

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22 Aug 12 #351253 by NatJones7281
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Thank you for that - i have heard somewhere that case law is around 7 years for a long marriage!? I''m clinging to the fact that mum was married for 5 and a half years, but lives as man and wife for just 4 and a half years! No kids, so i am hoping they feel the marriage is a short marriage. That and the fact he hasnt supported himself or contributed consistently throughout.

  • hadenoughnow
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22 Aug 12 #351272 by hadenoughnow
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The length of the marriage is less relevant when there are children. This is a childless marriage of limited duration.
He is not going to get 50% of anything.
He will, however get something.
The usual advice in a situation like this is to offer some ''go away'' cash - enough to pay deposit and a few months'' rental perhaps. This has to be weighed against the potential costs of going through the courts (1000s with representation) for a judge to decide the settlement. The fact that he has had no apparent income may be tricky. If she is reasonably well off, she may have to pay SM for a limited period while he finds work.

Are there any immigration issues here? Will he return to Tunisia? Does he have legal representation?

Hadenoughnow

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23 Aug 12 #351338 by cookie2
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There is no strict definition in law about what is a short or long marriage. If you read section 25 of the marital causes act it does mention length of marriage but it does not give any specific time figures. It just says that length of marriage is a factor in the split.

In effect, that means that as you say, in a short childless marriage, each party will take out what they brought in. But this is not the only factor to be considered here. Your father in law has relocated from Tunisia and will no doubt claim he has nowhere else to go. I am afraid I do not think your mother is going to get out of this as lightly as hadenoughnow suggests. Maybe she will get lucky but I do not think a few grand in a brown paper bag will work in this situation. I think he will get a much more substantial sum - maybe not 50% - but his claim will be increased due to the fact that he has relocated. Plus is is a 7 year marriage which is not insignificant.

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