Why does the length of the marriage matter in a San Diego divorce? How does the duration of the underlying marriage affect many issues, including the division of community property and spousal support?
California Family Law recognizes the real life implications of the duration of the marriage between the parties. When a marriage lasts for a relatively short period of time there are often fewer complexities in the process to separate the lives and interests of each of the former spouses. In cases where the marriage lasts for several years, there are many cases where the parties have made important life decisions and sacrifices to support each other, raise children and manage the household.
Generally speaking a marriage which lasts more than 10 years may have a much different impact on how matters are settled than a marriage of shorter duration.
What are some examples of what makes the length of the marriage matter in a San Diego divorce. It may surprise you to learn that community property is not required to be divided in a strict 50/50 manner. This is especially the case when the underlying marriage has lasted for longer than 10 years. The Court will consider the financial viability of each former spouse and their ability to support themselves financially once the divorce is completed. There are cases where the Judge may award a larger portion of community property to a spouse who has made substantial sacrifices such as leaving their career to raise children or worked to support their spouse while they sought an advanced degree.
Why does the length of the marriage matter in a San Diego divorce which involves spousal support? Just as in property division, the Court has several factors it must consider when considering the need for, amount and duration of spousal support. The Court will be much more likely to consider a longer term spousal support order if the underlying marriage lasted more than 10 years. When marriage has lasted less than 10 years, an award of spousal support may only be granted for half or less of the number of years the marriage lasted.