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How Does the Length of the Marriage Impact the Divorce Settlement? 

Posted on November 15, 2023

Divorce is a necessary step in many situations, and it can happen within the first year of a marriage or decades later. No matter when it happens, a divorce settlement is created as a way to divide shared assets. You may be wondering, though, how the length of the marriage impacts the divorce settlement.

This really is dependent on the situation. Our New York City divorce attorney at The Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C. can help guide you through this process.

How Marriage Length Matters in Divorce

Researchers have found the average length of a marriage at the time of filing for divorce is eight years. During that time, quite a bit can happen, including the birth of children, inheritances, the building of a business, and debt accumulation. How does the court consider the length of the marriage when making decisions about property, then?

The simplest answer is that the longer the marriage is in place, the more important it is to the court to divide assets fairly, typically 50/50. The longer a marriage is in place, the more time the couple works together to build their assets and wealth (as well as things like insurance policies, debts, and other financial instruments).

Length is Not the Only Factor, Though

It is very common for the length of the marriage to be one component of the bigger picture when it comes to the court. That is, they will also consider:

  • Your age
  • Your health
  • The yearly income of each of the spouses
  • The children present and from the marriage
  • The contributions each person made to the family
  • The ability of each spouse to move forward successfully

For example, if one of the spouses stayed at home to care for the children, becoming financially dependent on the other, and is now older without the skill to work in a job that could support them at the same quality of life after 20 years of marriage, the court is going to award a higher amount of spousal support or assets in this situation to that person.

If a couple married just a few years ago and have their own careers, perhaps even brought their own assets into the marriage, there is less need for the court to split the assets 50/50, especially if one of the spouses brought with them a substantial amount of the assets (or the debts) and they were not developed during the marriage itself.

Let Our Legal Team Help You Take a Closer Look

It is critical to know that every divorce case is different. When it comes to the length of the marriage and its impact on the divorce settlement, let us offer you more insight and guidance when you come in for a consultation. At The Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., we are committed to providing transparent, accurate information about what your reality is. Turn to our divorce attorney in New York now to discuss your specific situation and likely outcome at a consultation.

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