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What is a ‘short’ marriage?

The decision in Sharp adds further uncertainty to the already inexact science of the division of finances on divorce, writes Pippa Allsop

3 July 2017

The Court of Appeal decision in Sharp v Sharp recently cast further uncertainty over the subject of how financial issues are dealt with on divorce.

Julie and Robin Sharp began living together at the end of 2007, were engaged by August 2008, and married in June 2009. Both came from a ‘relatively modest financial background’ and had well-paid jobs earning similar amounts, Mr Sharp as an IT consultant, and Mrs Sharp as an energy trader. They separated in September 2013, with Mrs Sharp issuing divorce proceedings in December. At the time both parties were in their early 40s and had no children.

During their six-year relationship and less than four-year marriage, Mrs Sharp received £10.5m in discretionary annual bonuses. She purchased and refurbished properties, bought her husband three Aston Martins, and funded luxurious family holidays. The judge in the first ...

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