In Kuwait, a newly married woman demanded a divorce within three minutes of signing her marriage contract. The Kuwaiti marriage is one of the shortest on record. But here’s an interesting question: what if she asked for short term alimony?
Sands of Time
What lead to such an abrupt change of mind about nuptials? According to Kuwaiti news sources, the newly married woman tripped before exiting the courthouse with her husband after the judge married them.
Her newly minted husband made the “classic” new husband mistake: he started laughing at her for tripping and then called her “stupid”.
The bride became so infuriated with her new husband’s naïve mistake, she returned to the courthouse and demanded a divorce from the judge who just married them.
The Kuwaiti judge agreed and served an annulment just three-minutes after he originally married them. The couple, who live in Kuwait, never even left the courthouse as husband and wife.
So, is she entitled to any form of alimony?
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 Kuwaiti case, a three-minute 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.
Are congratulations in order?
Many on the internet who heard about the case responded in support of her choice, lauding her decision because, as one put it, “If this is how he acts in the beginning of their lives together, then its best she leaves now.”
Another responded, “Marriage without respect is a failed one from the start.”
A Twitter user commented: “This woman is a queen” In another case a bride who insulted her husband-to-be when she arrived at the altar and demanded the groom change his outfit. It’s believed to be the shortest marriage in Kuwait’s history.
The Khaleej Times article is here.