A pair of scissors lies on a marriage certificate, cutting it in half, with a wilted orange rose beside it. This image suggests the concept of divorce or the impact of ending a marriage.

How Can the Length of My Marriage Impact My Divorce?

There are many legal matters that must be settled when a couple chooses to go through a divorce. During this process, the court considers several different factors in order to reach settlements. This includes the length of the couple’s marriage before they filed for divorce. How long a couple was married is relevant when determining how to handle the division of marital property as well as the need for spousal support. An experienced attorney can be beneficial during this time to navigate the process.

Property Division

The length of a couple’s marriage can affect their divorce proceedings in two ways: the distribution of their properties and how complex the process is. Generally speaking, the longer the marriage is, the more likely it is that the court will award a larger portion of marital property to one spouse instead of equal division. This is due to the fact that spouses in long-term marriages often rely on one another’s income to maintain their standard of living. In these situations, a higher percentage of marital property may go to the lower-earning spouse so that they are in similar financial standing to the higher-earning spouse. It is less likely that the court will disproportionately award marital property in short-term marriages. They are more likely to order an equal distribution of the assets.

Divorcing long-term married couples can be more complicated, as they often 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. In these situations, it can help to retain the services of an accountant, financial, business expert, or real estate appraiser for assistance.

Spousal Support

The length of a couple’s marriage can also determine if spousal support is appropriate in their case. Because spouses in long-term marriages rely on one another financially, this may result in spousal support. Sometimes, the court may require lifetime support to be paid if there is a lower income or non-earning spouse. While spousal support is less likely to be ordered in short-term marriages, it is possible for temporary support to be awarded. This may be the case in order to assist a lesser-earning spouse for a period of time after the divorce is final.

Contact our Firm

If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

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