Morristown New Jersey Family Law and Divorce Lawyers
One of the key factors that courts must look at when determining or reviewing an alimony/spousal support award is the marital standard of living. How did the couples live when they were married? Is it possible for both spouses to maintain the marital lifestyle after a divorce? How much alimony/spousal support should be granted in order to make maintaining the lifestyle possible?
At the family law firm of Laufer Dalena Cadicina Jensen & Boyd, our Morristown, New Jersey, divorce attorneys help clients protect their interests during the establishment and modification of alimony awards. We are one of the most established family law firms in Northern New Jersey, committed to providing excellent services to our clients.
Call 973-813-7667 to speak with one of our New Jersey alimony lawyers or contact us online.
Is It Possible to Maintain the Marital Lifestyle?
Generally, courts will look at the marital lifestyle as a factor in determining alimony/spousal support. There must be enough money to allow the parties to maintain the marital lifestyle in order for it to be considered a significant factor.
If you and your spouse have maintained a financially robust lifestyle and one spouse makes significantly less than the other, the court must make a finding to the standard of living established in the marriage. Can the supporting spouse reasonably maintain the dependent spouse at the former, marital lifestyle? Will the supporting spouse also be able to live in a way reasonably consistent with the former lifestyle?
Our New Jersey alimony attorneys will help you review your economic situation and determine whether an alimony award that maintains the standard of living enjoyed during marriage is appropriate.
Maintaining Lifestyle and Modification of Spousal Support
In Crews v. Crews, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that maintaining lifestyle is a factor that courts must consider when determining or modifying spousal support/alimony. Under New Jersey laws, spousal support may be modified when there is a significant change in circumstances. The court held that, in order to assess changed circumstances, judges must identify the standard of living at the time of the original divorce decree.
To request a modification based on standard of living, a dependent spouse needs to show that circumstances have changed to a point that he or she cannot support himself or herself in a standard reasonably comparable to the marital standard of living. For example, an original alimony order that incorrectly assumed a dependent spouse would be able to contribute to his or her own support in a way that would maintain a standard of living reasonably comparable to the marital standard of living may be modifiable. However, if the only change is that the supporting spouse now makes more money than he or she had at the time of the divorce, there is not a sufficient “changed circumstance” and modification may not be possible.
Whether you would like to modify your spousal support order or defend against a modification, speak with one of our New Jersey alimony lawyers today.
For more information about spousal support and maintaining lifestyle, talk with one of our attorneys in a consultation. We accept MasterCard and Visa, are available for evening and weekend appointments and charge reasonable rates. Our offices are conveniently located one-half block from the Morristown Green. To contact a lawyer, call 973-813-7667.