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Maintaining the Marital Lifestyle

Following divorce or separation, are people entitled to live according to their marital lifestyle?

Amy Wechsler’s Answer:

There are no guarantees in the law. Marital lifestyle is one of the factors to be considered in establishing the need for alimony, but for most couples, it will not be possible to maintain the standard of living they enjoyed together in one household when they now must take those same resources and use them to support two households. This means it is unlikely that many couples will be able to maintain the marital lifestyle after divorce.

Marital lifestyle is also a combination of things. Some couples may have lived very modestly for most of the marriage, but due to raises, a new job, or one spouse getting a job after raising the children, they lived a much more comfortable lifestyle in the years immediately preceding the divorce. Assessing the marital lifestyle should consider how the couple lived over the course of their marriage. Also, marital life style should distinguish between the needs of an entire family with children and the needs of a spouse in future years after the children are living on their own.

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