What is the Marital Standard of Living and Why Does It Matter?

by Inzamam

What is the Marital Standard of Living and Why Does It Matter?

California court uses 14 factors to determine spousal support orders. One of the factors used is the marital standard of living. 

For standard of living, the courts won’t apply a universal living standard. The courts award support that allows the support spouse to live at the marital standard of living. 

Today, we’ll review the marital standard of living and why it matters. 

Marital Standard of Living 

Marital standard of living is one of the factors in Family Court that divorce courts use to settle spousal support. While MSOL is an important consideration, it is not the only one used. It is used as a guide when determining spousal support. 

According to California courts, the marital standard of living is “the station in life the parties had achieved by the date of separation.” Basically, it is the socio-economic classification established during the marriage. Typically, courts divide classifications into the following: lower income, middle, or upper class. 

The court can examine the net income of the community over a three to five year period, excluding any non-recurring expenditures. 

Some factors the courts consider to determine marital standard of living are:

  • Upward mobility of the family 
  • Community contributions to a party’s career development
  • If the parties lived within their means
  • Employment perks and benefits 

Evidence for MOSL

The parties must provide evidence of the lifestyle during marriage. Some forms of evidence for marital standard of living include:

  • Income
  • Expenses
  • Assets
  • Liabilities on the income and expense declaration 
  • Testimony of living situations
  • Vacations
  • Income class of the neighborhood
  • Details that demonstrate the lifestyle enjoyed

Both Parties are Considered

The courts will consider both spouses, as two households must be supported following divorce. This means that one spouse should not be struggling financially to try to uphold the marital standard of living for both parties. The court will make it clear what both spouses need to do to uphold the standard of living. In a divorse, adjustments may include downsizing or changing from part-time to full-time employment. 

To ensure that the marital standard of living is fairly applied, you will want the help of a legal professional on your side. With professional guidance, you will know what evidence to present to ensure the marital standard of living is properly determined and upheld. Get the help you need to reach a just and fair resolution to your divorce.

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