Does length of marriage have an effect on equitable distribution?
There are a number of factors that are considered in the equitable distribution process that occurs in a divorce. Each divorce is different because each marriage is different. One of the major factors that is taken into consideration during the equitable distribution process is the length of the marriage.
Marriages that lasted for many years, decades even, will have a more complex equitable distribution process than marriages that only lasted a matter of months or a couple of years. The reason for this is because equitable distribution is the division of marital property. The longer a marriage, the more martial assets that have likely been acquired. Over the course of twenty years, you have likely purchased one or more homes, several cars, and a ton of other things you have used to build a life together.
However, if you were only married for a year, you haven’t really had much time to acquire a lot of marital property. Only marital property will be considered in the equitable distribution process. If there was property that was owned before the marriage began, it will usually not count towards the equitable distribution process.
Another part of the divorce process that is affected by length of marriage is whether or not spousal support will be awarded. In situations where the marriage only lasted a few years, you probably will not be granted spousal support or alimony payments. However, if you were in a very long marriage and only one of the spouses worked outside of the home and was the sole provider, the court may grant spousal support to the other spouse who can’t support themselves after the divorce is finalized.
Robert Pollack is an experienced divorce and family law attorney in Long Island, New York. Contact The Pollack Law Firm, P.C., to set up a free initial consultation.