Divorces of celebrities are not the typical way divorces of most couples in British Columbia play out. However, some spouses expect to maintain the same standard of living after the divorce to which they were accustomed during the marriage — as they see happen in many celebrity divorces. In the divorces of the rich and the famous, there are often significant disparities in the incomes of the spouses, and the more wealthy parties can afford to pay spousal support that will ensure the continuation of the other parties’ luxury lives.
However, most couples live on average incomes of both spouses or the income of one while the other is a stay-at-home parent. When they divorce, they will typically move into separate homes and have the responsibility to maintain two households. However, their joint income will still be what it was before the divorce, and which determined the couple’s lifestyle during the marriage.
In the divorce, the two spouses will split the income that used to maintain one home, and each household may have to be supported with 50 percent of what was previously available. This clearly shows that, if the court orders any spousal support, it cannot be enough to allow the same standard of living. Spousal support is never a given, and if the court awards it, it is often for a limited time to give a stay-at-home parent an opportunity to re-enter the job market.
For these reasons, those divorcing in British Columbia may want to plan their budgets carefully before proceeding. Each spouse can get valuable advice from his or her family law attorney who can assist with negotiations about spousal support and other financial concerns. Soon-to-be ex-spouses often find that they can come to agreements that will suit both parties, rather than leave it to a judge with no intimate knowledge of the dynamics of the family.
Source: FindLaw, “How Does ‘Standard of Living’ Impact Spousal Support?“, George Khoury, Dec. 23, 2016