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How Does the Length of Your Marriage Affect Your Divorce in Florida?

how does the length of your marriage affect your divorceA marriage can end at any time. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been married for just a few months or if you’re in a long-term marriage that’s lasted decades.

If you and your partner have decided to end your marriage, understanding how the length of your marriage can affect the divorce is essential. Here’s what you need to know.

Short-term Marriages

Short-term marriages in Florida are those that have lasted less than 10 years.

Divorce laws are relatively straightforward for short-term marriages. In most cases, both parties in the divorce are awarded their separate property and debts. Alimony is rarely awarded in short-term marriages. The only exception to this is if one party can prove that the other party engaged in fraud, waste, mismanagement, or excessive spending of marital assets.

Moderate-term Marriages

If you’ve been married for 10 to 20 years, then the court considers it a moderate-term marriage.

The main difference between this and a short-term marriage is that alimony is more likely to be awarded in moderate-term marriages. The court will consider several factors when making its decision such as:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Earning abilities of both parties

Long-term Marriages

If your marriage lasted longer 20 years, it’s considered a long-term marriage in Florida.

In these cases, the court is likely to award alimony. However, since Florida recently eliminated permanent alimony, life-long awards are no longer an option.

Gray Divorces

Gray divorces refer to those that happen after the age of 50 and are becoming increasingly more common.
In these types of divorces, marriage length significantly impacts financial settlements and spousal support issues.

Older couples may find themselves with limited income and assets, making dividing up marital property and debt extremely challenging. Divorcing couples should always seek legal support, but it’s especially important for those who have been entangled in all aspects of their lives for decades.

The laws regarding alimony, property division, and debt allocation can be complicated. It’s essential to work with an experienced divorce attorney to navigate the process smoothly.

Understanding how the length of your marriage affects your divorce and your rights and having a plan in place before filing for divorce can help you achieve a fair settlement and minimize the stress of the process. If you are considering divorce, speak with a lawyer to ensure that you fully understand the laws that apply to your unique situation. For more information or to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, contact us at (813) 405-1509.

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