A new Marriage Foundation study shows that married couples who meet on online dating websites and apps such as Tinder (by swiping right of course!) are more likely to get divorced compared to those that meet through family and friends or in other social settings. The study also reports that almost half of married couples in the UK are now meeting online.
The paper, released in October, “Relative strangers: the importance of social capital for marriage” reports that 12% of married couples that meet online end up divorced within the first three years compared to only 2% who meet through friends and family or in social settings.
With more and more married couples meeting online and getting divorced within a relatively short time, we take a look at how the Court will treat a financial claim in divorce after a short marriage.
Does The Length of a Marriage Matter?
The Court has to take into consideration the length of a marriage when looking at any financial claim. This is outlined in Section 25(2)(d) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. A financial claim that occurs after a twenty year marriage will probably be treated differently to one brought by a couple divorcing after a three year marriage.
Rather than applying the equal sharing principle often applied to long marriages, the financial contributions by each person in the marriage are more likely to be considered if it is a short marriage. The Court will consider whether it’s better to restore the parties to their respective pre-marriage financial positions.
What About Children?
Even where the marriage is very short, if the couple had children, the Court's approach will be different from a case in which the marriage was short and there are no children. The Court will look at where the children live and who looks after them mostly and will tailor the financial order accordingly.
The Court will also look at whether the couple’s finances have been kept separate during their marriage or if they have been intermingled. It’s much harder to try to argue that both parties should be restored to their pre-marital position if their finances have been merged together, even if only for a relatively short period of time.
Are the parties ‘needs' considered in a short marriage?
The parties’ respective needs are also always important in determining a financial claim and is given consideration whether the marriage is short or long.
Many younger couples are opting to live together before they marry. The Court will decide whether the time the couple live together before they marry should be taken into account in any financial settlement.
If you want to know where you stand if you’re considering getting a divorce, speak to one of our specialist Divorce Solicitors.
They can give you advice on how the Court will approach your financial claim including how the length of your marriage, whether you both lived together before and whether you have any children together will affect your financial settlement.
You can also read the summary of the study and download the full research at the Marriage Foundation.
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