When a couple chooses to go through a divorce, they must take care of several different legal matters before the process is complete. During this time, numerous factors are considered by the court regarding the relationship. These are used in order to reach the proper settlements. An important factor to consider is the length of the couple’s marriage. This can be relevant in a divorce, as it has weight in the division of marital property as well as spousal support. It is important to retain the services of an experienced attorney during this time to guide you through the process.
There are two different ways the length of a marriage can impact property division: the distribution of the property and the complexity of the process. Generally speaking, the longer the marriage, the more likely it will be that the court awards a large portion of marital property to one spouse instead of an equal division. This is due to the fact that it is common for spouses in long-term marriages to rely on one another to maintain their standard of living. In these cases, the court may award a higher percentage of marital property to a lower-earning spouse. This allows the individual to be in similar financial standing to the higher-earning spouse after the divorce. In short-term marriages, the court is less likely to disproportionately award marital property. Instead, they usually order an equal distribution.
Couples in a long term marriage tend to have more property and diverse property holdings or interests between them. This can consist of real estate investments, stock options, grants, closely-held businesses, professional practices, and retirement or investment accounts. In these situations, it can be helpful for couples to seek the assistance of an accountant, financial, business expert, or real estate appraiser.
The length of a couple’s marriage can also determine whether spousal support is appropriate or not. As stated before, couples in long-term marriages often rely on one another financially. It is because of this that longer marriages usually call for spousal support to be awarded. Sometimes, the court may even require lifetime support in the event that there is a lower income or non-earning spouse. When dealing with short-term marriage, support is less likely but not impossible. Temporary spousal support may be awarded in some cases to assist a lesser-earning spouse for a period of time after the divorce.
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