In California divorces, status quo is important. The status quo is the standing of living the two parties to the divorce enjoyed and had grown used to over the course of the marriage. Generally, family law courts will strive to maintain the marital standard of living when they are making a determination on spousal support.
For many Californians with significant resources or a high net-worth, the standard of living can be a highly contested element of the divorce, and, if you are the party requesting temporary or long-term spousal support, you hold the burden of proof. This means that it is up to you to demonstrate just what that standard of living was if you want your spousal support award to reflect it.
Standard of living is not just your total household income. It reflects the house and neighborhood you live in, the kinds of entertainment you have enjoyed, your travel practices and the general ways in which you spend your money. However, if you are in dispute with your spouse over what standard of living he or she must strive to maintain for you, you will have to demonstrate said standard of living to the courts during litigation.
You will be submitting an income and expense declaration, which profiles your household’s income and expenditures each month. Filling out this form accurately will go a long way toward demonstrating your standard of living. However, if your current income and expenses do not accurately reflect the marital standard of living that you have become accustomed to, you may need to submit a declaration or additional documentation to that effect.
Consult with an experienced California family law attorney if you are concerned about the maintenance of your standard of living after the divorce. Keep in mind that the family law courts have a good amount of discretion in determining spousal support awards and so it is possible their award will not be sufficient to maintain the marital standard of living. Many other factors are considered in determining a spousal support award, of which standard of living is just one that gives the courts an orientation point with which to award an appropriate amount of spousal support.
Are you in Los Angeles County and have some questions about how to maintain your status quo? Certified Family Law Specialist Steven Fernandez has experience with complex divorce issues and can help you obtain a spousal support order that looks out for your best interests. Representing individuals in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, Steven Fernandez will ensure you every chance at having your status quo preserved. Call our office at 310-622-9434; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.