Baron Law & Mediation | Blog

July 06, 2016 Allan and Amy Beth Baron

How to Reset Your Life Quickly after a Short Term Marriage

Categories: Divorce Mediation, Divorce


Short term marriages are generally considered to be about 5 years or less although MA statutes have a specific way to determine the length of a marriage.

shutterstock_105840977.jpgGenerally speaking, if the parties consider their marriage as short in duration, an agreed upon goal may be put the parties back into the positions (financially speaking) where they were when they entered the marriage.This can include splitting any assets/liabilities accumulated during the marriage, adjusting for money brought into the marriage, or what one spouse may have paid for or given up for the other for employment advances/schooling whether through a reimbursement or a one time alimony payment.  If a child has been born during this time, there will be a need to provide for the child by both parents moving forward (note:  this is not to say no child support transfer payments may be made). 

Of course, each case is fact specific and those facts may change the general pattern of settlement. 


Action Plan:

1. Gather your Finances from the start

To get to a reset point, there needs to be a starting point. It may be the date of the marriage or sooner if you and your spouse established "an economic partnership" prior to marriage.

2. Get a "snap shot" of your present financial situation

What are both your monthly income and monthly expenses now?

What are your assets - joint and individual?  For each asset, note the origin of the asset and the value at the time of your economic partnership or marriage whichever came first.

Common assets include:  House, Condo, and other real estate, bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, vehicles, personal tangible property.

3. Future cash flow needs

Determine both your future cash flow needs. Will you both be able to pay for your expenses in the future?  Choose a date at least six months in the future, imagine your living situation and list your income and expenses after that date.

Are you both able to shake hands and go it own your own, financially meeting your needs?

4. Reimbursements

Did either of you come into the marriage with the down payment for the house or put someone through school or give up an economic benefit for the other? This may be an area for a reimbursement or a one time spousal support payment.

5. Children

If you have a child there are additional considerations such as child support, health insurance, activities, day care/schooling, etc... not to mention a co-parenting plan.  These agreements will be subject to modification while your property divisions are generally agreed to be final by the parties.

6. Court documents Try yourself or get some help

If you want to proceed without legal input, there are forms published by the court to use.

If you want or need legal help

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