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How The Length Of Your Marriage Could Affect Your Divorce


Courts assess a lot of factors when deciding things like alimony, property division, and child custody during divorce proceedings. The length of a couple’s marriage (the amount of time from the date of the marriage to the date of the divorce filing), for instance, often comes into play when making alimony determinations. Read on to learn more about what qualifies as short, moderate, or long-term marriage in Florida and how that determination could affect your own divorce.

Short-Term Marriages 

For alimony purposes, marriages are categorized as either short-term, moderate-term, or long-term in Florida, with short-term marriages lasting less than ten years. For marriages of this duration, both parties will typically receive possession of their separate assets, as well as an equitable division of their marital property. Alimony is rarely awarded upon the end of a short-term marriage. If, however, a court does decide to award durational alimony after the end of a short-term marriage, then the duration of that award cannot exceed 50 percent of the length of the marriage.

Moderate-Term Marriages 

Under Florida law, moderate-term marriages are those lasting between ten and 20 years. It is usually  more likely that a court will award alimony in cases where a couple’s marriage was of moderate length. This is not, however, the only factor that they will take into consideration, as courts also assess the standard of living during the marriage and both parties’ incomes and earning abilities. Again, there are limits to the length of time of a durational alimony award in divorce cases involving moderate-term marriages. In these cases, alimony cannot be awarded for a length of time exceeding 60 percent of the duration of the marriage.

Long-Term Marriages 

A union that lasted longer than 20 years is considered a long-term marriage in Florida. In prior years, couples whose marriages were considered long-term were much more likely to receive a permanent alimony award, or an award without an end date. Last year, however, permanent alimony was abolished in Florida, so even couples who were married longer than 20 years can no longer receive permanent alimony. Durational alimony that is awarded in these cases cannot exceed 75 percent of the length of the marriage in question.

Call Today for Help with Your Alimony-Related Questions and Concerns 

Getting divorced can have far-reaching financial consequences for the parties involved, which is why alimony plays such an important role in most divorce proceedings. To learn more about the factors that a court could take into account when addressing this issue, including how the length of your marriage could affect your award, please call 954-945-7591 and set up a meeting with experienced Fort Lauderdale alimony lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. today. Initial consultations are offered free of charge, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us by phone or online message at your earliest convenience. A member of our legal team is standing by and prepared to get started on your case right away.




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