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Posted by familylaw on 19th December 2011

In the case of a short marriage (five years or less), the children’s welfare will be the primary consideration.

The housing needs of the children and resident parent will be the overriding factor, and it may well be that if there is not enough matrimonial property available to meet those needs, non matrimonial property will need to be utilised.

Your property will be separated into two categories:

  1. Matrimonial Property – that which has been acquired by your joint efforts.
  2. Non- Matrimonial Property – that which one or other of you has brought in to the marriage, for example an inheritance, or was generated during the marriage as a result of the efforts of one of you. The existence of these assets will not be ignored but could form the basis for a reason to depart from equality.

If one or other of your needs cannot be met without recourse to non-matrimonial property then it will be taken into account. The longer the marriage the less relevant non-matrimonial property will be.

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