Alimony & Short Marriages

Married at First Sight’s Sonia Granados and Nick Pendergrast are filing for divorce “after almost a year of marriage.” The length of your marriage may impact the amount and length of alimony.

Married at First Sight

According to US Magazine, the could reports:

“We are sad to share that after almost a year of marriage we have decided to separate and file for divorce. Thank you in advance for your love and support through this difficult time! We look forward to growing and continuing to learn about ourselves from what we still consider to be a meaningful experience with MAFS.”

Florida Alimony

Alimony is governed in Florida by a statute. The alimony statute requires judges to consider several factors, including the duration of the marriage.

For purposes of determining alimony, there is a rebuttable presumption that a short-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of less than 7 years.

Florida Alimony Reform

However, Florida has been struggling in an alimony reform battle for years. I have been reporting on the alimony reform movement for years. This year, the Legislature is considering a bill that sets out a formula for judges to use when deciding alimony payments.

The House Alimony Bill, which would take effect October 1st if passed, would set guidelines for judges to set alimony based on the duration of marriages and the incomes of the parties. If a judge deviates from the guidelines they would have to explain why in writing.

The bill replaces permanent alimony with new formulas based on the length of the marriage, and the spouses’ incomes. Those formulas help set the amount and duration of the payments.

Also, the alimony reform bill re-defines marriages for purposes of alimony. Marriage would be divided into “low end” and “high end” marriages based on the length of the marriage.

Under the proposed alimony reform bill, in marriages of 2 years or less, there is a rebuttable presumption that no alimony shall be awarded.

For purposes of calculating the presumptive alimony amount range, 20 years of marriage or less shall be used in calculating the low end and high end for marriages of 20 years or more.

Short Marriages & Alimony

The former stars of Married at first Sight, Granados and Pendergrast were married for less than 1 year, and under the alimony reform bill would not be entitled to alimony.

The pair met on season 4 of the television series, and struggled early on in their relationship. Granados was scared of dogs (he owned one), and felt that he wasn’t physically attracted to her and that he lacked emotion.

The US Magazine article is here.