When you divorce after a short marriage, the challenges you face may be different from those faced by couples who divorce after decades of marriage. Those who divorce after long marriages tend to have more baggage to sort through. However, this doesn't mean that your divorce will be a smooth sailing. You still have legal, finical, and emotional issues to resolve. Here are three practical tips to help you do that amicably and efficiently:
Don't Take it Lightly
The first advice is to take your divorce process seriously. Just because you are divorcing after a couple of years of marriage, it doesn't mean that you don't have issues to resolve. You may be having a young kid, for example, who will need child support and custody determination. Even if you don't have a kid, you will have to resolve issues like:
- Who should move out of the house
- How to divide your assets, even if they are meager
- How to inform your family and friends
Also, you may also be required to separate for a period before finalizing your divorce. In short, the divorce process is almost certain to last longer than the marriage process, so you need to prepare better for it too.
Try the Mediation Route
It makes sense that many couples divorcing after short marriages would want the divorce process to be over as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you may fail to achieve this if you decide to litigate your divorce. Divorce cases that go to court take an average of 17.6 months to resolve. This means your divorce process can last longer than your marriage if you had been married for one and a half years! Of course, the longer your divorce takes, the more resources you are likely to spend on it.
Avoid such complications by mediating your divorce. You sit down with the mediator, discuss your agreement as the mediator steers the negotiations, and then take your agreement to the court for approval. This route can lead to a quick divorce if you both set your mind to it.
Research Relevant Laws
The advice is to research relevant laws for divorcing after a short marriage. This is because there may be special laws for your divorce that may not apply to those who are divorcing after decades of marriage. For example, states differ on what constitutes a short-term marriage; it is seven years in Florida while California give is ten years. Apart from explicit laws, you also need to acquaint yourself with the way local courts tend to rule on major decisions (such as divisions of assets and alimony) for divorces involving couples like you.
For more information on your options, contact local family law attorneys.