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Proving the marital standard of living in an alimony dispute

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2022 | Family Law

There are a lot of factors that go into an alimony determination in Arizona. And you have to appropriately address each one of them if you hope to achieve an outcome that is right for you. But we know that can be a complicated endeavor, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the law and how it applies to your set of circumstances. But that’s why experienced attorneys like those at our firm stand ready to assist you.

Proving the marital standard of living

One key component of the spousal support determination is the marital standard of living. Ideally, the court would issue an order on alimony that allows each party to enjoy the standard of living that was established during the marriage. This isn’t always possible, of course, but this is the benchmark that the court will shoot for in almost every case.

What does that mean for you? If you’re seeking spousal support, then it means that you need to do everything you can to establish a heightened standard of living. Remember, too, that nearly every aspect of your marital life will be taken into consideration. The vehicles that you drove, the house that you lived in, the clothes that you wore, the frequency with which you went shopping, and even the vacations that you took can all be crucial to establishing the standard of living.

To prove that standard of living, you’re going to have to present evidence. This evidence can take the form of receipts, bank statements, mortgage statements, and loan statements. Your testimony may be key, too.

What if you’re trying to avoid an alimony order?

If you’re likely to be the paying spouse if an alimony order is issued, then you’ll want to take a different approach. Although you may be able to block an order from being issued by addressing other factors considered in these matters, the standard of living can still be an important consideration.

In these instances, you’ll want to minimize the standard of living as much as possible. One way to do this is to argue that the perceived standard of living was artificially inflated by debt. If you took out personal loans or utilized credit card debt that is still unpaid to finance a vacation or home repairs, then you may be able to have those aspects of your marital life taken out of consideration.

Again, your testimony is probably going to be key here, but don’t forget to look for documentary evidence that might support your position. This could include bank and loan statements.

Take the holistic approach you need

It can be easy to get caught up in proving or disproving the marital standard of living. But it’s important to keep in mind that this is just one aspect of the spousal support determination. Therefore, you must give just as much attention to the other considerations that the court will look at, such as contributions made to each other’s earning power and the time necessary for the receiving spouse to obtain a proper education or training.

These matters can quickly become inflamed with emotions running high. As a result, you might benefit from having an attorney on your side who can help you tailor your arguments to the law. After all, this is the best way to ensure that you’re positioned for success.

So, if you’d like to learn more about what you can do to successfully navigate your spousal support dispute, then now may be the time to reach out to a legal professional of your choosing.