What effects does the length of a marriage have on a divorce?

When you make the decision to obtain a divorce from your spouse, there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration and questions that must be answered. Who gets to keep the house? Will I get to collect spousal support? Who will have primary custody of our children? While a million questions may be running through your mind, there is also an answer for each of them. Divorce can be overwhelming because not only is it a very emotional time for all of the parties involved, but there are also a ton of decisions that need to be made and logistics that need to be figured out. An experienced mediator can assist you in making these decisions and give you a general idea of what the outcome of your divorce may be.

One of the biggest factors that will be taken into consideration during the equitable distribution process is the length of your marriage. Equitable distribution is just the division of marital property that you have acquired throughout the course of your marriage. Of course, the longer the marriage, the more marital property you have likely acquired. All of the assets that were acquired throughout the course of the marriage are essentially up for grabs. This can include any real estate property, cars, boats or anything else, even down to the smallest household item. Shorter marriages will likely not have collected as many assets because marital property only consists of the assets that were acquired throughout the course of the marriage.

Additionally, the other factor in a divorce that takes into consideration the length of your marriage is the potential for spousal support. When a marriage has lasted upwards of twenty or thirty years, it is likely that by the time the couple gets divorced, they will be nearing the age of retirement. Spousal support exists to assist one a spouse who may not be able to financially support themselves on their own after the divorce has become finalized. Perhaps they never had a career that would allow them to support themselves financially because their spouse made enough money to support the entire household. By the time their marriage is dissolved, they may not be able to begin a career that would allow them to financially support themselves. Short marriages are usually not eligible for spousal support because they are usually much younger in age.

Judith Goldberg is an experienced Boca Raton mediator serving Palm Beach and Broward County, Florida. If you need acompassionate mediator to guide you through your family law matter, contact our Boca Raton office for a free consultation.