How standard of living affects an alimony determination

| May 21, 2021 | Divorce |

A court’s determination on spousal support can set the stage for your post-divorce finances for some time to come. That’s why you should be armed with strong arguments when approaching this issue, lest you lose out on resources to which you’d otherwise be entitled. But how do you do that? There are several factors you’ll want to take into consideration as you prepare your spousal support case, but one of the most important in a high-asset divorce is the marital standard of living.

Determining the marital standard of living

Assessing the marital standard of living might sound like an easy task, but it can actually be a point of contention. To start, it’s important to realize that any aspect of your standard of living that was debt-driven, such as accumulating credit card debt to buy clothing or vacations, will be considered an artificial standard of living and therefore won’t be taken into account. However, the court will consider other aspects of your life. The home that you lived in, the leisure activities that you enjoyed, and even the restaurants you ate at can contribute to your standard of living.

It’s important to note that a court’s primary purpose is to ensure that a lesser earning spouse’s basic financial needs are met post-divorce. Therefore, the court may not be focused on ensuring that you can take the same kinds of vacations that you took with your spouse during marriage. But the court is going to consider what kind of standard of living is reasonable under the circumstances. So, the higher the standard of care that you can establish during your marriage then the more reasonable your request will seem.

Be thorough in your arguments

The court will take a number of factors into consideration when it determines if alimony will be awarded in you case and, if so, how much. With that in mind, it’s imperative that you address every single applicable factor and argue it in your favor. You’ll need evidence, a strong understanding of the law, and an ability to counter the other side’s arguments to successfully achieve this goal. If you think that you could benefit from legal assistance in doing so, then now may be the time to speak with an experienced divorce attorney of your choosing.