Does Size Matter?
This is a question which is as old as the answer and we don’t know what Henry VIII of England would say, but if you asked the famous Size Matters Beer Tour, (which is the top ranking Munich beer tour on Trip Advisor), they would clearly say, “Yes”.
But is the size of the matrimonial pot important when the Court is looking at a “fair” division after a marriage ends and does “end” mean a “new beginning”?
Seamless period of cohabitation
When considering financial claims on divorce, a Judge in England & Wales is required to have regard to the “duration of the marriage” and within this period is the “seamless” period of cohabitation included (see CO v CO  1 FLR 1095).
On the other side of the spectrum the end date of the relationship is ordinarily the date of separation and not the legal termination of the marriage.
Needs in short marriage
This is becoming more and more of a hot topic in English family law where “pre-marital property” is an issue or also in a so-called McCartney type case (where it was submitted by his barrister Mr Mostyn at ) that in a short marriage case it is “legitimate to look at the claimant’s needs more conservatively than in a long marriage, because the standard of living that had a bearing on assessment of need had been enjoyed for a shorter period”.
On the other hand, Lord Nichols observed in Miller that a short marriage is no less a partnership of equals than a long marriage. Baroness Hale similarly observed in Miller/McFarlane that the source of the assets may be taken into account but its importance will diminish over time or as Mostyn J in N v F found that the “question of duration and mingling” should be the Court’s first consideration.
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