How Does the Length of My Marriage Affect My Divorce?

April 2, 2024  | 
By: Chad Layton, Esq.

mindful length of marriage affect divorceWhen it comes to divorce, each state has its own set of rules and laws that govern the process.  In Florida, the length of your marriage is an important factor that is considered under our divorce law.

The duration of your marriage is certainly not the only important factor to consider in divorce, but it is one of the key components.  Whether your marriage has lasted for just a few years or for several decades, its duration will have major implications on your divorce settlement. 

Using the Law to Help You Settle Your Divorce

Understanding how the length of your marriage affects your divorce is essential for both you and your spouse.  This knowledge of how the law works will help you and your spouse by giving you a reference point.  You can then negotiate with confidence that both of you are receiving a fair settlement under the law.

This knowledge can help you to avoid the delays that come with waiting for a judge to decide for you.  This knowledge can also empower you to make your own decisions and come up with your own custom solutions, instead of having a judge determine the most important issues in your life.

In Florida, marriages are categorized into three different durations: 

  • Short-term is a marriage having a duration of less than 10 years;
  • Moderate-term is a marriage having a duration of between 10 and 20 years; 
  • Long-term is a marriage having a duration of 20 years or longer.

The length of your marriage is the period of time from the date of your marriage until the date of filing for divorce.

Property Division and Alimony

The duration of your marriage can impact legal issues such as alimony, and property division, and other components.  

Shorter term marriages may have less significant financial issues if you and your spouse have kept your finances separate for the most part, and you have purchased few major assets jointly.

On the other hand, longer-term marriages often involve more complex financial arrangements and intertwined assets.  Often times, you and your spouse have built an entire life together in this type of marriage.  You likely have established a standard of living that is unique to your family.   You likely have created substantial assets and net worth.

The Length of Your Marriage Impacts the Emotional Side of Your Divorce

Marriages of longer duration often involve not only deeper financial ties, but also deeper emotional ties and shared history.  You may have children together, grandchildren, and/or extended family members whose lives are deeply intertwined.  This adds another layer of complexity to separating your financial and emotional lives.

Understanding the Law Helps You To Reach A Fair Settlement

Many of us fear what we don’t understand.  Divorce is no small undertaking.  Finding a trusted counselor that will help you to understand your divorce, and that will help you resolve your divorce in an objective and fair manner is a major step toward you and your family reaching a resolution.

If your divorce involves a shorter or a longer-term marriage, you should consider speaking with an experienced Collaborative Divorce Attorney to help you understand divorce law, and to help you review your options to resolve your divorce on your own terms, and outside of Court.  

Collaborative divorce attorneys focus on helping you achieve a fair and equitable outcome, promptly and efficiently, without fighting in Court.

By seeking guidance from a qualified attorney and being informed about your rights and options, you are much more likely to avoid the anxiety of the unknown, and you are much more likely to reach a resolution without fighting in court.  


I hope that this information helps you to review all of your divorce options, before resorting to an unnecessary legal battle.    

If you, or a friend of yours, has questions about Collaborative Divorce in Palm Beach County, we are here to help.

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