How does the duration of your marriage affect the outcome of your divorce? One of the most important facts our Family Court will consider is amount of time the parties were married.
Generally speaking the longer two parties are married, the more they are able to build together. Incomes tend to rise for those who work as they age and gain experience and additional skills. Those who stay together more than a few years generally acquire property including real estate.
In addition, those who are married longer have to make sacrifices for the good of the union. One might work so the other may complete advanced education or internships. One party might leave the workforce to help raise children and/or manage the household. Perhaps one of the spouses is in the military and is deployed for an extended period of time.
How do all of these factors and the duration of your marriage affect the outcome of your divorce? The Court will be interested in the lifestyle the parties enjoyed, the property they acquired and the sacrifices they’ve made to support one another.
Any property or debt which either party or both acquired from the date of the marriage to the date of separation will usually be considered to be community property (with a few exceptions such as inheritance, injury settlements or properly structured gifts). Community property is to be divided equally between the two parties in a divorce under California family law.
How will the duration of your marriage affect the outcome of your divorce in terms of spousal support? Generally speaking the longer the marriage lasted the more likely the Court will consider an award of spousal support. The duration of spousal support is also somewhat linked to the duration of the marriage. The longer the marriage, the longer the normal award of spousal support.
Marriages which last more than 20 years often result in a less than equal community property settlement. Marriages of 5 years or less usually result in a strict 50/50 split of community property.