Short Term Marriages

Some marriages are considered by the courts during the divorce process as “short term marriages.”  These are marriages that last under seven years. The courts, however, do have discretion to treat certain short term marriages different from the next because the judge presiding over the case is allowed to look at certain factors in determining alimony and equitable distribution, even when dealing with a short term marriage.  Even the shortest of marriages have to be dissolved through the dissolution of marriage process.  Unfortunately, the clerk of court does not distinguish marriages by length of time when determining the cost of filing these actions.  The cost to file a petition for dissolution of marriage in most counties is in the ballpark of $400 and that is just to get your case filed.  People looking to dissolve short term marriages often present with limited to no marital assets and no children.  If that is the case, often the filing of only a financial affidavit from both parties is required, so long as the parties agree to waive mandatory disclosure which normally requires the parties to exchange financial information to promote fair dealings when working out a marital settlement agreement. Of course, if there are children involved, the dissolution process will mandate both parents participate in a parenting class and that the children participate in a similar program to learn how to cope with the broken relationships often created by divorced households.  A formal parenting plan will be required along with a child support order pursuant to Florida Statute.