In essence, she voluntarily maintained a budget below the marital standard of living so she would not have to work.
Fourth, the Court of Appeals scrutinized the District Court's reduction in Wife's monthly budget, suggesting that the "District Court's reductions in wife's expenses are not in accord with the judgment and decree's design to have maintenance 'approximate' the marital standard of living."
When a court considers the marital standard of living as relevant to a rehabilitative award, the standard of living generally requires a rehabilitative award high enough to maintain a standard of living similar to that experienced during the longer, gray area marriage.
The classic example of the marital standard of living impacting an award of rehabilitative alimony is illustrated by a fairly long marriage with a high standard of living resulting in a permanent award rather than a rehabilitative award.
In affirming on those issues, Judge Lucinda Jesson noted that saving for retirement, and making charitable contributions, was part of the marital standard of living
. He further suggested that Wife's reasonable expenses "should be in harmony" with Husband's.
(25) The wife in Burrill had also stayed home with the children during the marriage and required a permanent alimony award to maintain the marital standard of living. (26) The Third District awarded permanent alimony in a 14-year marriage in Levy v.
This factor, along with the marital standard of living, has historically been the most persuasive factor in obtaining an award of permanent alimony.
The law is well settled that an increase in alimony solely because of the increased financial ability of the obligor is sustainable only in the event that at the time of the entry of the final judgment, the obligor did not have the present financial ability to pay, and the obligee was, thus, required to accept a lower amount of alimony or a corresponding decrease in the marital standard of living
Marital standard of living is not itself dispositive in determining a rehabilitative alimony award.
This was insufficient to maintain the marital standard of living, compelling a conclusion that a rehabilitative award could not serve its purpose of establishing that capacity for self-support.
These agreements carry great weight with the courts in conjunction with considerations of earning disparity and the potential for rehabilitation of the recipient spouse to self-support at the marital standard of living.
In doing so, the court emphasized, inter alia, the impossibility of maintaining a semblance of the marital standard of living on such a salary, given the establishment of an extremely high standard during the marriage based upon joint earnings in excess of half of one million dollars annually.