Household Budgets And Standard Of Living
A lot of changes happen when a couple divorces, and if you are married to a person who earns significantly more than you do or if you do not have an income producing job at all, you may be wondering if you will be able to continue to live the same lifestyle you have become used to over the course of your marriage. One tool that can help to establish your need for spousal maintenance payments is your household budget.
Household budgets provide lawyers and courts with a detailed record of current and past income and expenses. They can be part of determining the marital standard of living that is used to calculate alimony payments, for example. To learn about what options you have, make an appointment with a Port St. Lucie family law attorney and bring financial records, such as household budgets, to your meeting.
Marital Standard of Living and Debts
Alimony is not a mathematical formula. The most important factor is the persons need for support combined with the other persons ability to pay support. Standard of living is considered but by no means is it a driving factor. While the vacations you and your spouse took and the types of restaurants you dined at weekly are considered in calculating ability to pay, it is important to note that need for spousal support is still a factor that will also be considered. Just because you have become accustomed to a yearly trip to Europe does not mean the court will order a maintenance payment that allows you to keep that tradition up post divorce.
Additionally, if your historical household budgets show that your lifestyle was supported through going into debt, rather than through income and assets, it will be referred to as an artificial standard of living and the court will not order support payments.
Preparing for Change
Transitioning from a household budget with two incomes to one, or adjusting to one income providing for more than one household, is not an easy process. But when you have good records to rely on, it can make establishing a marital standard of living less complicated. Once a judge sees a historical picture of monthly income and expenses, which can be viewed in past and present household budgets, they will determine what support amount is reasonable. If you believe the amount ordered is too low, talk to your Port St. Lucie family law attorney about an upward modification.
Is it time for you to assess past household budgets and establish your marital standard of living? If you are moving toward a divorce in Florida, household budgets and financial records are an important part of securing the financial future you are seeking. Skilled Florida attorneys are available to help. When you share your story with a compassionate legal professional, they will use their knowledge and resources to guide you through the process. At Baginski, Brandt & Brandt, we are committed to our clients and will fight for your personal objectives. Contact us today to book an appointment.