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Property division, standard of living, and the financially weaker party, P.2

Previously, we began looking at the issue of property division in divorce, particularly the role a couple’s standard of living during the marriage can play into property division in divorce. Again, this can be an important issue for the financially weaker party.

Financial weakness in divorce can be controlled by a variety of factors, such as having stayed home to care for children and support the other spouse’s career, lacking education and work experience, and having mental health or medical issues that prevent one from easily obtaining work. Whatever the specific reasons for a spouse’s relative financial weakness, he or she has a right to an equitable result when it comes to property division

Exactly how a couple’s standard of living will impact property division in their case will be different in each case. For very wealthy couples, the standard of living during the marriage is going to be higher, there can be a steep decline in the standard of living after divorce for the financially weaker party. Courts can take that into consideration and account for that in the division of property to ensure the financially weaker party doesn’t experience an unjust decrease in his or her standard of living.  

For wealthy couples, accurately estimating the standard of living can therefore be a big deal. For those of more modest wealth, it may also come into play to a lesser degree. The bottom line with proper division, for any couple, is that it is important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that one’s interests are well represented in the division of assets. 

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Property division, standard of living, and the financially weaker party, P.2 | Peter A D'Angelo, Attorney at Law, PLC