Money issues are some of the most controversial ones you will face in your divorce. This is especially true if you are divorcing after a short-marriage. In such a case, note these four things about your financial disentanglement:
Most Courts Favor a Clean Break
If you are divorcing after a short break, expect the court to favor a clean break format. This means the court will be interested in separating your finances so that none of you owes the other anything after the divorce settlement. None of you should expect the other to pay for their education, upkeep, health or any other expenditure. This is in contrast to a divorce after a long-term marriage where a person may expect financial support from their former spouse long after their divorce.
Return to Pre-Marriage Statuses
When navigating a clean break method, most courts will argue for a return to your pre-marriage statuses if you have only been married for a short while. This means both of you will be expected to take back with them everything they brought into the marriage.
Children May Complicate the Situation
Note that the clean break format is only viable if you don't have children. If you have children then their welfare takes precedence over your financial comfort. For example, the noncustodial parent may be expected to pay child support payments as determined by the court. If you have shared custody, then the parent with lower earnings may be granted child support payments from the other parent.
Sacrifices May Complicate the Break
Although most courts favor a clean-break approach, it is not a guarantee. Special circumstances may complicate the issue and necessitate financial entanglement even after the divorce. For example, if one person made sacrifices during their short stint in marriage, it will be taken into consideration during the divorce.
Consider a case where you get married and convince your partner to close down their business in another state so that they can move and live with you in your state. In such a case, your partner may petition and get the court's permission to order you to pay them some money so that they can rehabilitate their business or go back to school and learn a trade.
It is clear that divorce after a short term marriage is markedly different from divorce after a long marriage. Therefore, don't approach it with the common notions people hold about divorce, such as equitable distribution of assets. Get a divorce lawyer, like one from Finocchio & English, to help you navigate your divorce.