High Asset Divorce: Lifestyle Expectations
When both spouses in a high asset family make large contributions to the income or overall wealth of the family, it will not be difficult for both spouses to continue their standard of living. However, when one spouse has been the homemaker and has grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle, a divorce can certainly threaten to diminish that lifestyle.
Missouri law specifically states that courts can consider the lifestyle during the marriage as the “norm” to be continued after divorce. Although this is a very subjective concept, it is also very important to the non-earning spouse who, for example, helped raise the children and kept the household in order, and the law can reward that spouse with a sense of continuity.
Because lifestyle is a subjective concept, it will take a skilled and experienced attorney to ensure that the court understands the meaning of lifestyle for that particular individual. Living in a particular level of real estate, maintaining luxury cars or club memberships, having a certain wardrobe – all of these must be “normed” and valued, and some form of compensation, through a combination of property division and support, will need to be fashioned to ensure lifestyle continuity.