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How Can the Length of My Marriage Impact My Divorce?

When a couple goes through a divorce, there are many legal matters that must be settled before the process is over. In order to do so, the court will consider different factors regarding the relationship. This can include the length of the marriage itself. During a divorce, the length of a marriage can be relevant when dealing with the division of marital property and spousal support. If you or someone you know is facing a divorce, it is important to retain the services of an experienced attorney to guide you through this time in your life.

Property Division

How long a couple is married before they pursue a divorce can impact the proceedings in two different ways. This can include the precise distribution of property as well as how complex the process is.

Generally, the longer the marriage, the more likely it is that the court will award a great portion of marital property to one spouse instead of dividing it equally between the two. This is because, in long-term marriages, it is common for one spouse to rely on the other’s income for their standard of living. In these situations, the court may award the lower-earning spouse a high percentage of the marital property so that they are in a similar financial standing as the higher-earning spouse. In short-term marriages, the court is less likely to disproportionately award marital property. Instead, they are more likely to order an equal distribution of the couple’s jointly owned assets.

In addition to this, couples who have been married for a long period of time tend to have more property and diverse property holdings or interests. This may include real estate investments, closely-held businesses, professional practices, stock options or grants, and retirement or investment accounts. In these cases, it may be beneficial to enlist the help of an accountant, financial, business expert, or real estate appraiser.

Spousal Support

The length of a marriage can also determine whether spousal support is necessary. As stated earlier, it is common for one spouse to rely on the other in long-term marriages. It is because of this that, generally, the longer the marriage the longer support will be awarded. In some cases, the court may require lifetime support to a lower income or non-earning spouse. In a short-term marriage, support is less likely to be awarded. However, temporary spousal maintenance may be required by the court to assist the lesser-earning spouse for a short time after the divorce.

Contact our Firm

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.