Payne & Associates, PLLC

The standard of living you're used to with your spouse might be different than how you live when you're not married. For most people with moderate or lower incomes, this is typical after divorce and what you would expect. Courts might award spousal support to make up some income disparity, but there's still a chance you'll live a different type of life following the divorce.

Most of the time, it's celebrities and the rich and famous who receive large payouts to support a similar standard of living following divorce. For instance, a woman who marries a billionaire tycoon would be used to certain activities and living arrangements most people wouldn't be able to afford. It would not be uncommon for a court to award an amount to the woman to help boost her ability to live that way in the future, too.

Courts will consider how your standard of living affected you if you lived above or below your means. If you lived above your means, of course the court will not ask you to pay out in a way that makes you grow your debts. However, if you lived below your means, the court might adjust your alimony award.

For example, if you have a large savings that you worked on together or supported your spouse while he or she went to school, you could be entitled to reimbursement alimony. This alimony repays you for your sacrifices during the marriage. Why? Consider the fact that if you stayed married, you would have benefited from your spouse's continued education or been able to collect more interest on your savings. This is adjusted for by the court through alimony.

Source: FindLaw, "How Does 'Standard of Living' Impact Spousal Support?," George Khoury, accessed Feb. 03, 2017

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