How Can the Length of My Marriage Impact My Divorce?

Couples who choose to go through a divorce are required to handle many legal matters before the process is officially over. When going through this process, the court considers several different factors regarding the relationship in order to reach settlements. This can include the length of the marriage. When seeking a divorce, the length of the marriage can be relevant when handling the division of marital property and spousal support. During this time, it is important to retain the services of an experienced attorney to guide you through this time in your life.

Property Division

The length of a couple’s marriage can impact their divorce proceedings in two different ways: the precise distribution of property and the complexity of the process. Usually, the longer the marriage, the more likely it is that the court awards a large portion of marital property to one spouse instead of dividing it equally. This is because it is common for spouses in long-term marriages to rely on each other’s income for their standard of living. When this happens, the court may award a higher percentage of marital property to the lower earning spouse. This is so that they are in a similar financial standing as the higher earning spouse. The court is less likely to disproportionately award marital property in short-term marriages. They are more likely to order an equal distribution of the couple’s assets.

Couples who have been married for a long time tend to have more property and diverse property holdings or interests. This can include real estate investments, closely-held businesses, professional practices, stock options or grants, and retirement or investment accounts. It can be beneficial for couples in these situations to seek the assistance of an accountant, financial, business expert, or real estate appraiser.

Spousal Support

How long a couple’s marriage lasts can also determine if spousal support is appropriate. As previously mentioned, it is common for a spouse to rely on their significant other in long-term marriages. It is because of this that longer marriages usually result in the awarding of spousal support. In some cases, the court may require lifetime support if there is a lower income or non-earning spouse. Support is less likely to be awarded in short-term marriages. However, it is possible for temporary spousal support to be awarded in order to assist a lesser-earning spouse for a short period of time after the divorce.

Contact our Firm

If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.