A Court must consider a statutory list of 14 factors when issuing orders for spousal support. Three of these factors deal directly with the marital standard of living. More specifically, the Court must consider (1) the ability of each party to earn a living, (2) the ability of each party to pay spousal support, and (3) the needs of each party through the lens of the marital standard living.
Legal Definition of the Marital Standard of Living
The marital standard of living is the lifestyle a married couple enjoys during their marriage. This standard is used as a measure to ensure that the “Out-Spouse” (lower earning spouse), who basically dealt with the domestic duties and childcare (often having to put his or her own career on hold) during the marriage, is not negatively impacted after the divorce.
In coming up with the standard to base spousal support on, the court is forced to consider whether the parties were lower-income, middle-class, or wealthy in general terms, and – while not the only factor – use that characterization of the marital standard or living to guide how much support will be necessary to keep both spouses at that lifestyle.
Under the California Family Code these factors can be changed and are not set in stone. The Marital Standard of living is calculated by considering the couple’s lifestyle just before the divorce. However, as stated the Marital Standard of Living is only a factor that is considered, and in the Marriage of Rising (1999) 76 Cal. App. 4th 472 the Court ruled that the Marital Standard of living is less relevant with passing time.
Contact an Experienced Central Valley Divorce Attorney
To learn more about the common mistakes to avoid during the divorce process, you should call Stockton family law attorney Gurjit Srai. Mr. Srai has the knowledge and experience to help you successfully file for divorce.
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