Greener Grass and the marriage length come to mind now that country singer, Carly Pearce, filed for divorce from fellow country star Michael Ray after a startling eight-month marriage. What does the length of a marriage mean in a divorce?
It Won’t Always Be Like This
Their wedding took place on a farm outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Located on 40 rolling acres, the venue features a 19th-century mansion, three barns and a pavilion. Though the couple had hoped for an outdoor wedding, the weather didn’t oblige. All-day rainstorms drove the ceremony into one of the farm’s barns.
While her whimsical wedding was nothing short of a fairytale, eight months later, the 30-year-old singer filed for divorce from Michael. Pearce is an American country music singer and songwriter. Her material contains elements of both traditional and contemporary country-pop music.
She began performing professionally in her teens, appearing on several albums of bluegrass material in the 2000s. After moving to Nashville, Tennessee, she began gaining more widespread notice.
She first gained major recognition in 2017 when her self-penned “Every Little Thing” found acclaim on satellite radio. The song helped her secure a major label recording contract and became a major hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.
Her debut album of the same name debuted in the top five of the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Pearce has since released new material, including the 2019 single, “I Hope You’re Happy Now”.
Pearce released her second studio album, “Carly Pearce,” in February. Her duet with Lee Brice, “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” recently topped the Billboard country charts.
As recently as March, the couple appeared to be spending time together in quarantine. Pearce posted a selfie of her and her husband hanging out in lockdown.
Florida Marriage Length
I’ve written about divorce and the length of a marriage before. Florida Statutes actually define what the length of your marriage means. For example, in order to determine alimony, there is a rebuttable presumption in Florida that a short-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of less than 7 years.
Florida Statutes define a moderate-term marriage as a marriage having a duration of greater than 7 years but less than 17 years. And, a long-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of 17 years or greater.
How do you measure the marriage term? In Florida, the length of your marriage is the period of time measured from the date of your marriage until the date of filing of an action to dissolve your marriage.
In the Pearce case, an eight-month marriage would be considered “short-term” under Florida law. Is there short-term alimony for a short-term marriage? The Length of the marriage is very important when it comes to determining the kind of duration of alimony payments.
For example, permanent alimony is generally for longer term marriages if the statutory criteria are met. In shorter term marriages and for moderate term marriages, permanent alimony may be considered, but the burden of proof is much higher.
Conversely, bridge-the-gap alimony is generally awarded to allow a person to transition from being married to being single. So, bridge-the-gap alimony is designed for short-term needs. In fact, the length of an award bridge-the-gap alimony may not exceed 2 years.
Durational alimony helps provide a person with economic help for a set period of time after short or moderate length marriages or following a marriage of long duration if there is no ongoing need for support on a permanent basis.
The length of your marriage also factors in to property divisions. When a court divides the marital assets and debts, the court begin with the premise that the distribution should be equal. One of the factors a court can look to in justifying an unequal distribution includes the duration of the marriage.
“Love Has No Heart”
In April, the pair exchanged sweet birthday messages on Instagram.
“Happy Birthday to this guy, who also happens to be celebrating a Top 20 single this week (PROUD)! Of all the photos I have, I chose this one because I miss getting these secret selfies from guitar solos during your shows. What a crazy time, but I’m thankful to have you to go through it with. I hope this year is your best yet and brings you happiness, fun & enjoyment in life. Love you.”
Ray also wished his wife a happy birthday in April on Instagram.
There is so much going on around us but today it gets put on hold to celebrate your heart and you as a beautiful human. You ended your 20s with Platinum and gold singles you’re an inspiration tink and what a way to close it out. Now 30 it’s gonna be a decade that elevates all of life even higher. Hope you feel all the love you deserve today because you deserve it!”
In recent months, though, photos of the couple together became less frequent on social media. Pearce and Ray have not commented publicly on the reason for their split.
The Tennessean article is here.