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How does the standard of living affect alimony in a Florida divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2023 | Divorce

Divorce substantially affects the financial situation of at least one of the parties. Typically, the breadwinner spouse does not have financial problems moving forward. Unfortunately, it is not the same for spouses who earn less or have decided to let go of their careers to be full-time homemakers.

Fortunately, the law acknowledges this common marriage disparity and lets courts award spousal support as necessary. In Florida, when deciding the amount and extent of support, the courts consider multiple factors, including the length of marriage, each party’s overall condition and earning capacity.

While the reasons behind these factors are relatively obvious, the basis for considering the standard of living during the marriage as a factor may not come easily to others.

Enjoying comparable comfort after divorce

During the marriage, spouses experienced a certain degree of comfort that established their overall lifestyle. This includes the type of home they had, the frequency of vacations and spending activities that have become a custom to the family.

Accordingly, a divorce would take this lifestyle away from the spouse earning less than the other. This major change could significantly affect that party’s financial condition, and, in the worst case, prevent them from acquiring even their basic financial needs.

Hence, the court awards alimony to the less-earning spouse to bring the change in lifestyle after divorce to a minimum.

Limited to what is reasonable

Reasonably, having a luxurious marital standard of living does not mean the court will order payment of support to cover vacations and excessive expenses. The courts will only ensure that the reasonable needs of the less-earning spouse are taken care of. What would count as reasonable depends on the circumstances of the case and the judge’s interpretation.

Whether you are the spousal support payor or the recipient, you must find the best approach to your situation. Keeping one step ahead can help you obtain the most favorable outcome for your divorce.