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Does Age Difference Matter in a Divorce?

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Marriages come in all shapes, sizes, and age differences – and the same can be said for divorces. It’s no secret that there are many different variables that matter in a divorce, so it’s only natural to wonder whether or the age difference between spouses will also play a role.

On its own, it’s unlikely that an age difference will play a significant role in a divorce – especially if the spouses are separated in age by only a few years. Even if spouses are separated by many more years in age, this difference probably won’t have any bearing on the divorce unless age-related matters like a pension, retirement benefits, or a spouse’s failing health are taken into consideration.

Age differences can matter in spousal support disputes if a younger spouse sacrificed going to college or working on a career to take care of domestic duties. Under rarer circumstances, consideration might also be given if the younger spouse made similar sacrifices to act as the older spouse’s caregiver.

Lastly, a wide age difference can certainly affect child custody matters if one spouse is suffering certain limitations or health effects caused by advanced age.

The Age of Your Marriage Will Matter More

Age differences between spouses might not matter as much during divorce as the age of their marriage itself.

Long-term marriages – those that last 10 or more years – are treated differently by California, which allows its courts to maintain jurisdiction over a long-term divorce indefinitely. This means that spousal support can be ordered for an indefinite period, whereas it would be ordered for half the duration of a short-term marriage.

Regardless of your or your spouse’s age, if you were married for fewer than 10 years, you can reasonably expect the spousal support order to last for half as long as you were married. If you were in a long-term marriage, spousal support could last indefinitely – or at least until the receiving spouse remarries or either spouse dies.

Are You Trying to Make Sense of Divorce?

A “normal” divorce is complicated enough, which means that yours can feel especially complex if there are factors that make your situation more unique than others. Rest assured that our experienced attorneys at Clarey & Hammond, LLP have the experience and skill necessary to respond to your legal situation with personalized service.

For more information about how we can help, contact us online!


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