By Chris Kramer
Many people have heard about a 10 year rule in divorce. In most states, there is no magical point in time at which the rules for divorce change. However, there are limited circumstances in which crossing the 10 year mark may impact outcomes.
If you are considering divorce, then an attorney might be able to help you. A divorce attorney can be a great resource for helping you determine what you options are, and how to best achieve your goals. If you'd like to talk to an attorney in your area, just fill out the short form below.
For example, the Social Security Administration treats marriages that ended in divorce differently if the parties were married for ten years or more. A former spouse who was married to the wage earner for more than ten years remains eligible for certain derivative benefits, and may be able to collect Social Security benefits based on the ex-spouse's earnings record.
In some states, eligibility for or duration of alimony may also differ depending on the length of the marriage.
For example, California divorce law specifies different formulas for spousal maintenance depending on whether or not the marriage was "long-term". A "long-term" marriage has been defined as one lasting more than ten years. While alimony is time-limited in most marriages that don't qualify as "long-term", the judge has greater discretion when terminating a long-term marriage.
If you are considering a divorce, but you want to stay in your marriage for ten years because you think you're going to receive a large windfall, make sure you understand the realities before making any decisions. For a better idea of what to expect, you can connect with a divorce lawyer near you today.