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How Priorities in a Divorce Vary According to the Length of Marriage


Many people mistakenly assume that divorce is easier when the couple has only been married for a few years versus when they have been together for decades. Well, that’s not true. Timing is not really the factor that makes a divorce less or more complicated, but it is the issues that the couple has to deal with at different stages of marriage.

Divorces that occur within 10 years of marriage usually center on child custody and child support issues while those that happen later in life are often more about splitting the marital property like the house, business, alimony, and retirement accounts. In any case, divorce is never an easy decision to make. Just thinking about going your separate way can give you a sinking feeling especially if you have children and you’re worried how your divorce will affect them.

If you are in this situation, contact Davis Law Group in Massachusetts to find out how we can help. Leading divorce attorney Jay Davis will explain the process to you in a transparent way and support you every step of the way. We will make sure your voice is heard and your rights are protected. Contact us at (617) 752-6216 or fill out our online contact form to set up a free consultation today.

What Divorce Looks Like at the 10-Year Mark

At this point, most couples have young children so custody matters tend to be at the heart of the negotiations. If you have kids, you want to ensure their well-being and the custodial arrangement needs to reflect that. For example, who will get the primary custody? How will vacations work? What will their daily schedules look like? How much child support will be paid and for how long?

It’s tempting to want to stick to your pre-divorce routine, but some restructuring is unavoidable, especially if one of you needs to increase the hours you spend at work/home or go back to work altogether. Both of you need to be fair and realistic, putting your children’s needs first.

While couples generally don’t have a great amount of wealth accumulated at this point, asset distribution is an important consideration. If you have a prenup, that’s great. But if you don’t, assume that most property acquired during the marriage will be considered “marital” and thus, will be subject to division. If any debts were accumulated while you were married, they would be considered a shared liability as well.

Finding the right Massachusetts divorce attorney to help you through making a tough decision is critical to getting a legal outcome that works best for you and your family. At Davis Law Group, we are more than just divorce attorneys — we are counselors who see the larger picture and can guide you in making the right decisions.

With our skilled and compassionate legal team on your side, finding happiness after the divorce won’t seem that difficult. Call us at (617) 752-6216 or contact us online to talk to the highly rated Massachusetts divorce lawyer Jay Davis today.

What Divorce Looks Like at the 20-Year Mark

If you and your spouse share children, they are likely to be older after you’ve been together for 20 years or more. So, creating a parenting agreement might still be necessary, but the focus will be on their financial well-being (college costs and living expenses).

Alimony or spousal support will be the main subject of the divorce negotiations after 20 years, since the duration of marriage affects the court’s determination of the appropriate duration and amount of alimony. For example, it’s safe to assume that the lower-income spouse may have given up career opportunities to support the higher-earning spouse or to take care of the children and, therefore, has become dependent on their partner’s resources.

The court’s goal here will be to help that lesser- or non-earning spouse become more self-sufficient by getting established in a new residence, finding a job, etc.

After two decades, there tends to be some items to go around in terms of assets. This means it might be easier for both spouses to manage the financial ramifications than it might have been earlier on. One thing to note is that for the lesser- or non-earning spouse, their ability to accumulate additional assets after the divorce will be negatively impacted. With that said, to maximize income for the lesser-earning spouse should be addressed by ensuring a fair division of assets and liabilities.

What Divorce Looks Like at the 30-Year Mark

By this time, a couple’s finances have been intertwined for a big part of their lives. Retirement plays the starring role in the divorce discussion when you’ve been married for three decades. You may need to build your retirement accounts back up after they’ve been split in the divorce or postpone your retirement to meet your support obligations.

If you were considering retiring to a new house or city and you still have minor children, the custody arrangement might limit where you can retire. Also, while spouses who stay together usually try to wait as long as possible to start withdrawing from their retirement accounts, the party seeking spousal support will be expected to withdraw at the earliest opportunity without penalty. Each of these factors could be integral to how the divorce agreement is drawn up.

It doesn’t matter when you divorce. What matters is that you consider the aftermath: how it will affect your lifestyle, your children, your finances, and your future. Negotiating in good faith and identifying your priorities will result in the most positive outcomes for everyone.

Schedule Your Free Consultation with Top Massachusetts Divorce Attorney Jay Davis

Attorney Jay Davis represents clients from all walks of life, and has helped numerous Massachusetts residents navigate the complex divorce process. His expertise and compassion ensure favorable resolutions for his clients, allowing them to ease into post-divorce life with little turmoil and trauma. If you are seeking a tenacious, client-focused divorce lawyer, talk to Jay today. Give us a call at (617) 752-6216 or send us a message online to schedule your free initial consultation.

The post How Priorities in a Divorce Vary According to the Length of Marriage first appeared on Davis Law Group.
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