Short Marriage Property Settlement – What You Need To Know

The end of a relationship can happen at any point of a marriage be it a few years to only a few months. So how does the length of your marriage influence your property settlement, specifically if your marriage was short?

What Constitutes As A ‘Short Marriage’?

A ‘short marriage’ in the context of family law is a marriage that has lasted five years or less. If the couple lived together prior to the marriage that length of time may also be taken into account on whether the marriage is considered a ‘short marriage’ or not.

How Is Property Settlement Effect By Short Marriage?

Generally speaking a typical property settlement will take into account not only the financial contributions made, but also the non-financial contributions. Non-financial contributions are generally considered equally valued to financial contributions.

However, with ‘short marriage’ property settlements the Courts will examination the parties’ relevant financial contributions, specifically initial financial contributions made, particularly if there are no children involved

Any non-financial contributions may not be regarded as equal to financial contributions in a short marriage property settlement. If there are children, and one parent is now their primary care giver, adjustments may be made to this party’s favour.

The Courts will generally consider contributions on an asset-by-asset basis rather than globally.

Asset-By-Asset vs Global Approach

There are two approaches to establish the division of the pool of assets, asset-by-asset and the global method.

With the asset-by-asset approach different groups or pools are created for different types of assets. The contributions and the division of each asset pool are determined separately.

Regarding the global approach assets are considered in on big ‘global’ pool and the division is based on the parties’ contributions to the overall pool of assets.

Related Article: Property Settlement and Divorce: Key Facts You Need To Know


Note: This is general information advice only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters, please contact us on 03 9620 0088 or email

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