How will the Length of Your Marriage Affect Your Tampa, Florida Divorce?
When going through a divorce there are many terms that must be decided on, and many factors will impact the ultimate settlement. For example, when resolving child custody issues, the only factor considered is the best interests of the child. A factor that will have a large impact on the terms of your divorce is the length of the marriage. Most importantly, the length of your marriage will affect property division and alimony issues. Below, one of our Tampa divorce attorneys explains more.
How the Length of a Marriage Impacts Alimony Decisions
Pursuant to the new alimony law enacted in July 2023, when alimony issues are being decided pursuant to the factors listed in Chapter 61.08 of The Florida Statutes, the length of the marriage is one of the biggest factors considered. If it is determined that one spouse has the right to alimony, the length of the marriage is also considered when determining the duration of spousal support. The length of the marriage impacts in many ways, including:
- Short marriages: Short marriages are defined in Florida as a union that lasts up to ten years. In cases that involve a short marriage, it is usually assumed that alimony is not appropriate because one spouse has not had enough time to become dependent on the other.
- Moderate-term marriages: Moderate marriages are generally considered to be those that last between ten and twenty years. In these cases, durational alimony is usually awarded, which only lasts for a certain period of time. Durational alimony is usually awarded only until the recipient can support themselves financially.
- Long marriages: Long-term marriages are those that last seventeen years or longer. The court will determine if one spouse needs support, and if the other party has the ability to pay. Even in these situations, permanent alimony is no longer awarded in Florida, but the recipient may still receive support longer than if they had a moderate-term marriage.
- An award of durational alimony may not exceed 50 percent of the length of a short-term marriage, 60 percent of the length of a moderate-term marriage, or 75 percent of the length of a long-term marriage, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
How the Length of a Marriage Impacts Property Division
Under state law, marital property in a Florida divorce is divided fairly, which does not always mean equally. See Chapter 61.075 of The Florida Statutes. There are instances when one spouse may receive more marital property than the other, and the court may take the length of the marriage into consideration.
When people are getting a divorce after a short marriage, each party may walk away with a fairly equal amount of marital property. This is due to the fact that people in shorter marriages have not had as much time to commingle their property. In longer marriages, however, the division may not be as equal.
For example, if one spouse owned and operated a business during a long marriage and the other party had little to do with it, the business owner may be able to keep it. In return, the other spouse may receive property of a fairly equal value, but it may not be a 50/50 split.
Our Divorce Attorney in Tampa Can Help with Your Case
There are many factors that will impact the terms of a divorce case and the length of the marriage is just one of them. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our Tampa divorce attorney can explain what these factors are, and negotiate for the full and fair settlement you are entitled to. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or fill out our online form to request a free consultation to discuss your situation. Se habla Español.
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