How Does the Length of a Marriage Affect the Outcome of a Divorce?

Divorce is complicated on multiple levels. Rather obviously, it is an emotionally complicated process, as you are going separate ways from someone you originally intended to spend a lifetime with. However, unfortunately, the emotional weight of a divorce is very quickly intensified by the financial aspect of your divorce as well.

If you are getting a divorce, you may be asking yourself questions like “can I keep my house?” or “will I have to get a new job?” This is all completely natural, however, that does not make the process any less nervewracking. When you get divorced and cannot agree on its terms, you will often enter the litigation process. This process is demanding, and may go on for months, or even years–what’s worse, either one or both spouses are very often left feeling dissatisfied with the outcome when it is finally over and done with. That is because, in divorce, your marital assets are subjected to equitable distribution.

Equitable distribution is where the courts divide your assets, “equitably.” Rather notably, however, “equitably” does not mean “equally.” Instead, the courts will divide your assets in what they determine is the fairest way possible. After considering several aspects of both your and your former spouse’s financial circumstances, they will make their decision. Courts will consider additional factors as well, such as your age, your health, the number of children living in your household, and any existing child custody terms.

However, many people do not realize that their divorce terms are also impacted by the duration of their marriage. Generally, the length of your marriage will play a rather sizeable role in determining certain aspects of divorce such as alimony payments, or even who gets to keep the house. For example, if you are the financially dependent spouse in a long-term marriage (10 years, let’s say) there is a very good chance you will be awarded more marital property than your financially independent spouse–and this may include your house. Michigan courts seek to mitigate the financial impact of a divorce on both parties as much as they possibly can.

Alimony will also be affected by the duration of your marriage. The longer you were married as a financially dependent spouse, the longer the duration of your alimony payment will be (generally speaking). On the other hand, if you are a dependent spouse involved in a short-term marriage, though both your and your spouse were employed the entire time, you will most likely earn a shorter duration of alimony payments.

If you need a knowledgeable and compassionate team to fight for your rights, look no further–we are here to help.

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Sometimes, divorce and family matters are difficult to navigate. Fortunately, they do not have to be with the assistance of a compassionate, knowledgeable attorney who is willing to guide you every step of the way. If you need a seasoned firm to help you with any divorce or family-related matter, please do not hesitate to contact Collis & Griffor today to schedule a consultation.

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