Will my divorce be different because we were married for less than 10 years? 25 Answers as of June 02, 2011

Will my divorce be different because we were married for less than 10 years? Will I still be able to get spousal support? Are the laws different? We been married for 6 years and have no children but have assets.

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Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Depending on your specific facts, you may convince a court that temporary support is appropriate, but the retirement is not exposed under your facts. Only the "marital estate" is subject to division. That division will be based on the facts of the case and what the judge thinks is fair given the circumstances. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/2/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
No. The length of marriage is only one of several factors to be considered in deciding whether you should get any spousal support after the divorce and has no relevance to how marital property is to be fairly divided. The keys to property division are when and how it was acquired.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/1/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
I have written extensively on spousal support. Suffice it to say, if the marriage is less than 10 years, unless you can show spousal abuse, there will be no support/maintenance after the divorce is granted. During the interim is a different matter, but post divorce no support. Here is a short rendition of the law:
Until recent years, Texas did not allow for the payment of alimony and, even now, it is available in extremely limited circumstances and limited duration.
A spouse can be awarded alimony/maintenance under the Texas Family Code only if one of two specific conditions exists.
The first is if the other spouse was convicted of a crime involving family violence within the two years prior to the filing of the divorce suit. This includes class C misdemeanor convictions if the allegation involved family violence. It also includes occasions where the defendant received deferred adjudication in exchange for a plea of guilty.
The other starts with a 10-year marriage, where the spouse seeking maintenance lacks sufficient property (including property awarded in the divorce) to provide for his or her minimum reasonable needs. If that factor exists, then, the inquiry turns to whether the spouse can or cannot work outside the home because he/she has an incapacitating personal physical or mental disability; or, he/she is the primary caregiver of a child requiring substantial care due to a physical or mental disability; or the spouse clearly lacks adequate skills to find a job to support minimum reasonable needs.
Most alimony claims rely on the second of the conditions. But for the request to be successful, the spouse must be able to show a reasonable attempt to find an appropriate job or get job training.
Judges are further limited in the right to award maintenance by state law that says support can continue for no longer than necessary to provide for the spouse's needs, but no more than three years after the divorce is finalized. The exception to this rule is when the maintenance is awarded based on a disability of either the spouse receiving maintenance or caring for a disabled child, in which case the award may be indefinite in duration. Also, monthly payment amount is limited to either $2,500 or 20 percent of the paying spouse's average gross income - whichever amount is lower.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/1/2011
The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
There are no hard and clear rules in New Jersey divorce law on this topic, it depends on all of the circumstance. Married for 6 years is not married for 10 years, but that is not the question. The judge would take all of the circumstances into account in deciding on spousal support. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the first office visit. I do this kind of case a lot, and I can assist you. I know people worry about how expensive a lawyer is, so I am careful to be as inexpensive as I can for my clients. Before you spend a dime, you will know how much this is likely to be.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 6/1/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
I am not sure what you mean when you ask whether your divorce will be different. Regardless of the length of the marriage, the divorce process is the same. The question is what unresolved issues do the parties have and is there a possibility for resolution of those issues prior to a trial where a Judge would decide those issues. The specific issue of spousal support depends on a great number of factors which include , but go well beyond the length of the marriage. As a result, it is impossible to determine whether spousal support may be paid or for how long and in what amount without a full review of the facts.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 5/31/2011
    Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
    Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
    The length of a marriage is a factor in determining equitable distribution and spousal support (called "maintenance"). However, it is not the only factor. The court will look at income disparity, if any, between you and your spouse. It will also take into consideration any assets which pre-existed the marriage, and how those pre-existing assets were used to grow the marital assets.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We are the Goolsby Law Firm, LLC, divorce attorneys located in Augusta, Georgia. Every case is different. You cannot rule out the possibility of alimony even though the marriage is of short duration and that would be a factor. You should contact and retain an experienced divorce lawyer to discuss all your rights and options. For instance, you also did not mention whether or not there are any fault grounds, which could be another factor. Finally, you should discuss with your divorce attorney the point that you are entitled to an equitable property division, too. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    The length of marriage is one factor to consider in deciding property division and maintenance. There is nothing magical about being married 10 years or more, though it effects your rights to social security, which the court can consider but not divide.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    The length of a marriage can have an impact upon spousal support in Ohio, among other factors. Please contact a local attorney to discuss your concerns.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    You may still obtain spousal support if the financial facts support a spousal support award. There is no difference in the divorce procedure no matter how long you have been married. The 10 year rule you are referencing is relevant to the court keeping jurisdiction of the spousal support issue after the divorce becomes final. More specific information may be obtained by contacting me IF you are looking for legal representation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    There is no bright line of 10 years except for the federal right to receive your spouses social security.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    There is nothing magic about a 10 year marriage. Length of marriage is only one factor in establishing spousal support. Spousal support is determined in part by the occupations and earning capacities of the parties; their health; their economic needs and other issues. The division of assets is separate from spousal support, but can be a factor if the assets divided have earnings which can be included in income. You definitely need a lawyer. Call for further discussion and let my staff know you inquired through LawQA.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr.
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr. | John J. Ferry, Jr.
    It depends on what state you are in. If it's Pennsylvania, the length of the marriage is a factor that is considered, but it's not the only factor. Spousal support may be available regardless of the length of the marriage.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    Each case is unique and depends on the specific circumstances. There are times, even in very short marriages, where there is spousal support and sometimes, in very long marriages there isn't any. You would best to consult with an attorney concerning your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    The duration of spousal support can be different for a marriage that was for less than 10 years versus one that was longer than 10 years. Typically, for a marriage that was less than 10 years, the duration of any spousal support is half the length of the marriage. Although, even if a marriage was less than 10 years, in certain circumstances, the duration of any spousal support can be longer than half the length of the marriage. The following article may be helpful: http://www.divorcenet.com/states/california/ca_art33 Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Generally, in California, a marriage of less than 10 years is considered a marriage of short duration. As such, you are generally limited to support for a time period equal to one-half the length of the marriage (the court can deviate from this, though, for good cause). If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    In Washington State, in its purest form, spousal maintenance is determined by one's need and the other spouses ability to be coupled with the length of the marriage.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    No, your divorce will not be any different than any other. I believe you have mixed up the ten year rule for being eligible to collect on your spouse's social security even after you're divorced. In effect, you must wait to divorce until your tenth year of marriage to qualify for those benefits. Yes, you can be eligible for maintenance and equitable distribution.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Law Office of John C. Volz
    Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
    As a general rule a marriage under 10 years is a marriage of short term duration. You would be entitled to spousal support for of the time of marriage.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    You may still me entitled to spousal support, depending on the facts of your particular situation. But you will have to consult with a divorce attorney in much more detail to determine whether you will have a viable claim for it.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    The length of a marriage can be a factor in some issues like spousal support, but there is no 10 year cutoff. I believe there are a some 10 year cutoffs under Federal law for some issues related to military retirement benefits or social security.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Berner Law Group, PLLC
    Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
    Length of marriage can certainly play a role in such things as division of assets, extent of spousal maintenance. If you reside in Western Washington, feel free to contact my office for a free, no obligation consultation-by phone or in person-about your case. We are experienced, aggressive (when necessary) and affordable.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    There are some differences in California law. A marriage over ten years is presumed to be long term. The rule of thumb for shorter marriages is that you would be eligible for spousal support for half the length of the marriage. Other factors deal with pensions and retirement which generally have some dependence on the length of the marriage as to how they would be divided.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Length of time is irrelevant to basic divorce procedure. Length of time is one of many factors a court may examine in alimony.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/31/2011
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