Are you thinking about divorce? You have probably heard that the length of your marriage may affect various divorce issues. So, what are the issues between long term vs short term marriage in divorce? Read on to learn more.

When you file for divorce in California, there are many factors that affect the division of community assets and debts. For example, if the parties do not agree, a long term marriage divorce can take more time to resolve than a short term marriage divorce. This is mostly due to conflicts about how the assets and debts of the couple are divided. The court needs to address all assets and debts accumulated throughout the duration of the couple’s marriage.

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Most short-term marriages result in little to no accumulated debts and assets between a couple. Rather, most short-term marriage disputes mainly deal with child custody, visitation and child support. Long-term marriage disputes can include a multitude of issues such as dividing retirement assets, community real property division, and paying family and/or spousal support.

Overview of Long term vs Short Term Marriage in Divorce

Below is an overview of what to expect when going through a long term vs short term marriage in divorce. Contact A People’s Choice for more information about filing for divorce in California. We can help you prepare the forms you need to file with your local court to start the divorce process.

Short Term Marriage and Divorce

Determining property division and child custody and visitation is no different between a long term vs short term marriage in divorce. Unfortunately in California, divorce after a short-term marriage is quite common. While divorce laws vary state-to-state, California divorce laws recognize two classes of marriage duration: 0 – 10 years and 10 years and greater. As referenced above, the length of a marriage tells the judge how closely tied together spouses are and how difficult the divorce may be for the lesser-earning spouse.

Major assets a couple may have in a short-term marriage and divorce may be a home and vehicles. Vehicles are commonly divided between the parties. Real property may also be ordered to be sold and proceeds divided between the parties. Debts arising from the marriage are commonly split 50/50. Child custody and visitation may be at issue and should be resolved through mediation instead of court.

Spousal support is typically not permanently awarded since the marriage is of a short duration. The court may, however, award temporary spousal support based on the income of the two parties. On the other hand, in long term marriages, if a permanent spousal support is made, it would be for no less than 5 years (usually half the length of the marriage) of a ten-year marriage. This issue of short term vs lifetime support is addressed in greater detail in this article.

Long Term Marriage and Divorce

A long term marriage is a marriage that lasted more than ten years. The length of marriage is calculated from the date of marriage to the date of separation (not the date the divorce is filed). People commonly believe that if they are married for ten years and later divorce, they are automatically entitled to receive spousal support for the rest of their lives. This is not necessarily true. If spousal support is awarded in a long-term marriage divorce, the court will set a spousal support order for a reasonable duration. As mentioned above, the duration is usually no longer than half the length of the marriage. Spousal support is ordered to keep up the marital status quo of the lower earning spouse upon divorce. When the judge makes the final spousal support order, the judge must consider the factors in California Family Code section 4320

Contact us for more information about long term vs short term marriage in divorce. We are a full service non-attorney legal document preparer and can help you with all necessary paperwork. We can also help you get a spousal or child support order to make sure you are taken care of financially immediately following your divorce. We understand this is an important decision and our experienced staff is here to help guide you through this process. Call us now at 800-747-2780.

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