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Marital Lifestyle

East Brunswick, NJ |

How is marital lifestyle determined? How can one get a spousal support modification several years after the divorce? What expenses does the Court look at now?
Can one spend less on housing after divorce and spend more on other items (e.g. vacations, clothing, etc.)
What about expenses that were not included on CIS at time of divorce? For example, there was no expense for a car (cars were always purchased without loans - paid cash - $30K+, health insurance - no cost indicated - is now costing me over 25% of my income - there are additional health expenses as well. CIS was completed with the assistance of my lawyer at that time - was told to indicate what I needed to get by....). Supporting spouse has had an increase in income over 100% (i.e more than doubled) since divorce.

Attorney Answers 5


Marital lifestyle should be based on a number of factors including income and spending habits during the marriage as well as assets and liabilities. If you wish to file an application now for modification of support, you will have to prove a change of circumstances warranting modification. You will have to file a current CIS as well as a CIS from the time of your divorce. You can be explicit on the CIS as well as in your application as to what your expenses are now and why they weren't included in your prior CIS. However, it would be prudent for you to meet with a lawyer, one experienced in family law, to discuss the changes in your need and the relatives incomes, in order to best determine what your application should include. Modification is not only based on income. The alimony statute has several factors that bear upon an award and the change of circumstances threshold is not a simple one. Good luck.

The information presented in this answer is for informational purposes only. The answer or the information contained within should, in no way, be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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You have many questions that require a review of many, many factors before you can be provided with a reliable opinion. Accordingly, you should schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney in your area who can take the time to review "everything" with you.

The short answer is "marital lifestyle" represents the costs and expenses associated with how you lived as a married couple...

Kenneth A. White, Esq.
New Jersey Family Law Attorney

The Answer provided was based on the limited information provided, and represents information based on the law in general, not a legal opinion that can be relied upon. Before a formal legal opinion can be offered I would need an opportunity to review all possible relevant facts and circumstances. You cannot rely on the advice of an attorney given over the internet. The exact facts of your sitaution, including facts which you have not mentioned in your question, may completely change the opinion that is being offered. Please be aware that the above comments are neither protected by attorney-client privilege, nor may the same be the basis for a malpractice lawsuit.

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This post has several important questions; each of which has a very factually specific analysis making it difficult to answer in this forum. I suggest you consult with an experienced family law attorney ASAP.

This post is not legal advice and does not create a confidential attorney-client relationship. It is being offered for informational purposes only. You should not relay any confidential or priviliged material in this public forum. You should not rely on this post as legal advice. In order to obtain a more comprehensive answer to your question you should consult with an attorney of your choosing.

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It is determined in part by looking at cash flow versus expenses, but much more goes into it. There must be a review of spending records and income documentation.

DISCLAIMER This answer is provided for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you agree and understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site cannot be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices law in the State where this offense is charged; and, who has experience in the area of law you are asking questions about and with whom you would have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question, or in the State where this charge is filed

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Alimony was created to assist a spouse who lost the opportunity to advance his or her career during the marriage.  The purpose of alimony is to assist that spouse in maintaining a comparable life style that he or she shared while he or she was married.  Some of the factors that a court will consider in determining whether or not to award alimony include, but are not limited to, their resepctive ability to pay, the duration of the marriage, the age and health of the parties, the standard of living during the marriage, their earning capabilities and employability and equitable distribution of the marital property.

There is a place in the case information statement form that allows you to add notes. There's a checkbox following most of the requested expenses. You should use that notation space to indicate any anticipated future increases in expenses that cannot be accurately reflected in your current expense analysis. Otherwise, your lifestyle analysis may be lacking in meeting your actual future needs.

If you want to speak with an experienced attorney who is familiar with these areas of law, call us at 973-562-0100. Our firm is concentrated in family law and estate planning case. Also below is a link to our blog if you want to keep up on legal developments in divorce, family law and estate planning laws.

Good luck.
Brad M. Micklin, Esq.
The Micklin Law Group
187 Washington Ave., Suite 2F
Nutley, NJ 07110

This information is based upon the limited facts you presented. My advice Is based on New Jersey law and may be different if I find that the facts presented are different. Additionally, this answer does not contain any confidential information nor does it create any attorney/client relationship.

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