Over the years, I have helped people that have been married for only a few weeks to folks who have been married almost 50 years. Is divorce any different for short term marriages? The answer is a resounding yes and no.
For the most part, there is no difference in the actual divorce process. Regardless of how long or how short your marriage was, the process and forms that are necessary to complete to get divorced are the same.
For instance, you still have to file for divorce. You have to complete a summons and petition no matter what the length of marriage is.
The main difference in a short term marriage is mostly about how much community property is involved. Just as a brief recap, community property is that which you accumulated during the marriage and separate property is that which you had before marriage.
So lets say you were only married for 6 months. The assets and debts you accumulated during those six months would be subject to being divided. The assets and debts you accumulated during those 6 months are going to be much less than say someone married for 20 years.
But what about that home you owned before marriage? Does your spouse have any right to your home? This is where we separate what is law and what makes sense. Should your spouse have any right to your home you owned before you were married if you were only married for 6 months? I don't think so.
Short term marriages, defined by the courts as anything less than 10 years, have some different rules surrounding things such as spousal support as well.
So there are some differences between a short term marriage and long term marriage as far as certain financial aspects, but the process, forms and procedure of getting divorced never change.
A short term marriage, you could say, may be slightly easier as there is less assets and debts to divide and list on the final judgment.
There is no shame in ending a short term marriage. Sometimes you just grow apart or were never meant to be. If you gave it your best shot and it makes sense to get divorced, then it is what it is.
What I tell people is that they are not setting any records by only being married a short time. We have seen it all.