Calculating the Marital Lifestyle: The Domino Effect
Featuring: Frank Louis, Esq.; Brian Paul, Esq.; Jeralyn L. Lawrence, Esq.; Hon. Robert Fall, JAD (Ret. on Recall); Hon. Marie Lihotz, PJAD (Ret.)
Ever since the Crews decision, lawyers and judges have debated how to determine marital lifestyle. A recent published appellate court decision S.W. v G.M., written by Judge Hany Mawla provides some needed guidance. He wrote:The importance of finding the marital lifestyle cannot be overstated. It is at once the fixed foundation upon which alimony is first calculated and the fulcrum by which it may be adjusted when there are changed circumstances in the years following the initial award.Judge Mawla went onto say that you must both quantify and explain the lifestyle characteristics before you can determine an alimony amount.
To the extent Crews and Hughes implicated required that martial lifestyle be determined numerically, we now explicitly state a finding of marital lifestyle must be made by explaining the characteristics of the lifestyle and quantifying it.
The lifestyle number is crucial because, ultimately, it will have a domino effect on how a court determines the other financial aspects of the divorce. So, what should go into the lifestyle calculation? Our program examines all that lawyers and judges should consider when calculating this fulcrum number and what lawyers need to do to convince a judge that their number is the right one.
What should go into petitions for deviation and modifications-litigation tips
WFESTFAM20 (AM session: WFAM077920)(PM session: WFAM007920)
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