When you got married, you and your spouse were probably committed to the idea of building a long happy life together. You were looking forward to sharing a home, taking vacations, and, generally, establishing a certain standard of living throughout the course of the marriage. After your wedding, you and your partner likely settled into a particular lifestyle, intentional or not, and became accustomed to certain roles and an accepted way of life. Divorce, however, can significantly affect the established lifestyle of both spouses, but there are ways to help a spouse maintain established standard of living, even as the marriage is ending and beyond.
In any marriage, the lifestyle that is established is based on a combination of many factors. Each partner’s income, occupation, and employment qualifications all contribute, as does the couple’s shared values and beliefs regarding familial roles. Obviously, children also greatly impact a married couple’s standard of living.
What works best in one marriage may not always work well for another. For example, a marriage in which the husband owns a business and has an income high enough to live comfortably may lead the wife to work part-time or from home while raising children. Another situation may find that both spouses must (or would prefer to) work full-time so they have decided to postpone having children. There is no right or wrong standard of living; every family must live in the way that best meets their needs and desires.
Impacts of Divorce
Of course, it is no surprise that many marriages come to an end in divorce for a wide variety of reasons. When divorce does happen, though, spouses do have some right to expect that the standard of living created in the marriage should be maintained, to at least whatever degree possible.
Under Illinois law, the court is required to consider the established marital lifestyle in both spousal maintenance and child support proceedings. In doing so, the court will generally attempt to minimize the impact of the divorce on the standard of living, but must balance such concerns with many other factors, including income, education, and financial resources of each spouse after the divorce.
The period of time between physical separation and legal divorce can be especially difficult. A financially disadvantaged spouse may find that her husband has moved out and, despite his ability to do so, is refusing to contribute toward upkeep of the home or other obligations created during the marriage. To seek relief, a spouse may petition the court for temporary orders of spousal maintenance and child support. These orders take the same factors into consideration as permanent orders, but may be customized to better address the transitional needs of the spouse and children.
If you are going through a divorce and are having trouble maintaining the lifestyle that you and your spouse established, you should seek professional legal counsel. Contact an experienced divorce attorney in Will County today for a free consultation. We will work with you to help you understand your options and assist you in making the best decisions for your future.