If you divorce after being married for, say, three years, the division of your assets may look different than it would if you had been married 30 years. For example, 30 years is a lot more time for inheritances and other premarital assets to become commingled and to eventually end up as the property of both spouses.
30 years also means that the spouses have had much more time to become used to a certain way of life. In some cases, one spouse may have stopped working altogether to take care of the home and raise children. The spouse may also be older and in poorer health than one who has been married three years. So, if you have been married a short time, what might you reasonably expect to receive?
Limited or no spousal support
Under New Jersey alimony guidelines, judges consider factors such as the length of the marriage, the earning capacities of both spouses, the expense to receive necessary education, the financial and nonfinancial contributions both spouses made to the marriage and the age as well as the health of both spouses.
After three years, you may certainly have become used to a different standard of living. However, the theory is that you will have an easier time adjusting than if you had been married 30 years. If you left your job to raise children, it has been “only” three years, and in theory, you might even be able to return to the workforce using the same credentials as before the marriage. Finding a job may take longer due to the time away but a three-year gap is more surmountable than a 30-year gap.
Your share of marital assets
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, so you should receive an equitable share of marital assets. Commonly, they are houses and cars because they tend to be jointly owned by both spouses.
If your spouse has been careful to keep assets such as inheritances and premarital property separate (easier in a shorter marriage than in a longer one), you may not have a claim to them.