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Your standard of living may change, even with spousal support

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Technically, your standard of living will be considered when deciding how much spousal support you are entitled to. The goal is to keep you as close to the lifestyle that you were used to as possible, even after the split.

The problem with this is that it usually only matters for very wealthy couples. They may be used to a lavish lifestyle, have more than enough money to maintain it, and see a support order that allows both of them to keep having a lavish lifestyle for years to come.

For most people on an average income, however, there's just no way the court can keep the standard of living exactly the same. There's only so much money to work with.

Remember, your cumulative expenses are going to go up after you get divorced because now you've essentially doubled your bills.  After the divorce, the two of you now have two separate house payments and car payments, not to mention insurance on both. You each have to pay for water, electricity, heat, Internet access, and all of your other utilities. Even shared food -- that morning pot of coffee -- can double in cost.

While some expenses remain the same, most of them double almost instantly. The court will try to give you a fair support payment, but for most people it won't be possible to maintain the same standard of living. It's just not realistic.

Of course, the key is to get a fair and just resolution to your case, whether you're paying support or collecting. Be sure you know what legal options you have when working toward that goal.

Source: FindLaw, "How Does 'Standard of Living' Impact Spousal Support?," George Khoury, accessed Jan. 06, 2017

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