Divorcing after a short marriage can be a difficult process. You might think that the short time spent together and the possible absence of children simplifies things. However, there are couples who've spent more time in court fighting over assets than they spent married.
Short marriages are usually defined as those that have lasted for less than five years. Unless both parties make an effort to help things along, you could find yourself unable to move on with your life for a long time.
Complications in Divorce After Short Marriages
Before considering how to settle your divorce amicably, you should first understand how the length of time you've been married can affect your divorce. Common problem areas include:
Alimony: For a short-term marriage, alimony is unlikely to be granted unless in extreme circumstances. In some cases, a short-term alimony will be ordered.
Asset division: In many states, the court will look at what both spouses have brought into the marriage.
Accumulated debt: One spouse may have benefited more from accrued debt than the other.
If the couple had children, there may be custody issues as well. Since laws vary between states, you should find out what factors apply or don't apply for short marriages. A spouse who knows they won't be getting alimony may fight harder for a larger share of the assets.
Mediation is a good option for a couple who are eager to avoid a long court battle. In mediation, the couple getting divorced get the chance to decide how they are going to part ways. This means deciding how assets and debts will be distributed, and it can also be used to decide if either party will be paid alimony.
The mediation process is guided by a mediator who is a neutral party that's well-versed in family law and divorce. When a couple chooses mediation, they are likely to reach an agreement that leaves both parties reasonably satisfied.
What if Mediation Fails?
Although you should definitely try mediation, there is no guarantee that it will work. A divorcing couple may have different understandings of what they brought into the marriage or what they're entitled to.
At this point, hiring a family divorce attorney is a good idea. If you and your spouse are headed to court, it helps to start preparing as early as possible. Divorce attorney services can also help you to present your facts so your spouse sees the sense in not going to court.
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