Did you know that Missouri courts sometimes consider the length of the marriage when deciding divorce cases?
When evaluating factors that could influence the outcome of your divorce case, you may overlook the length of your marriage. But did you know that Missouri courts sometimes consider the length of the marriage when deciding divorce cases?
The Length of Your Marriage and Marital Property Division
Missouri courts use a standard that gives “equitable distribution” the highest priority when deciding marital property matters. This means most marital properties and assets are generally divided on a 50/50 basis. But the property distribution rules may change if you have been married for a long time. In “long duration” marriages, one spouse may end up getting more than the other — as long as the distribution is fair and reasonable.
Here are the different durations and how they can affect a property division outcome:
- Long-Term Marriages: Over 10 Years – In marriages that have lasted for over ten years, it is assumed one partner might have depended on the other for financial support. In such proceedings, the court may give the spouse with the lower income a bigger portion of the marital property to place them on the same financial level as the other spouse. Also, the higher percentage is meant to make sure both partners have a matched living standards after divorce.
- Short-Term Marriage: Less Than 5 Years – The court may divide marital property disproportionately based on income disparity to ensure both spouses are left on the same financial level.
- Short-Term Marriage: Less Than 5 Years – The court may order equitable distribution of marital property, especially when both partners were earning an income.
Note: Every divorce case is different, so don’t assume that your case will wind up like other divorce cases. Also, don’t assume the length of your marriage will be a primary consideration in court. The court may use other factors when deciding your case. Your best option is to seek the help of an experienced divorce attorney to help you fight for your rights and protect your interests.
The Duration of Your Marriage and Alimony
Aside from income disparity, the judge may also consider the duration of marriage when determining alimony. For instance, if your marriage has lasted well over ten years, the court may order the spouse with more income to pay alimony to the spouse with less income for a longer amount of time. Generally, longer marriages are awarded longer alimony periods.
Contact The Betz Law Firm
If you’re looking to file for divorce, The Betz Law Firm is here to help. We are committed to guiding our clients through the court process with the same level of professionalism that we would wish for our family members. We are aware of our client’s trust in us with the future of their family, and we strive daily to earn it.
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