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4 considerations for spousal support in a high-asset divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2024 | DIVORCE - High-Asset Divorce

Divorce has a devastating impact, especially in high-asset cases where the financial stakes are significant. Couples must navigate numerous considerations when determining spousal support to ensure equitable distribution of assets and financial stability for both parties.

When dealing with high-asset divorces, four crucial considerations come into play regarding spousal support:

The duration of the marriage

The duration of marriage is a critical factor in determining spousal support in high-asset divorces. Longer marriages typically result in higher spousal support awards, as they often indicate a greater level of financial interdependence between spouses. This is because longer marriages tend to involve a more extensive intertwining of finances, shared assets and lifestyle choices. When a couple has been married for a significant period, it is often presumed that both spouses have contributed to the accumulation of wealth and assets, even if one spouse was the primary breadwinner.

Standard of living during the marriage

The standard of living established during the marriage is another essential consideration in high-asset divorce cases. The courts aim to maintain, as closely as possible, the standard of living to which both spouses became accustomed during the marriage. This may involve awarding spousal support to enable the lower-earning spouse to maintain a similar lifestyle post-divorce, at least for a while, especially if they were financially dependent on the higher-earning spouse during the marriage.

Contributions to the marriage

When determining spousal support in high-asset divorces, courts also consider the contributions of each spouse to the marriage. This includes both financial contributions, such as income earned and assets acquired, as well as non-financial contributions, such as raising children, managing the household or supporting the career of the other spouse. Courts may take into account the sacrifices made by one spouse to support the other’s career advancement or to allow the other spouse to accumulate wealth.

Income and earning capacity

The income and earning capacity of each spouse plays a significant role in determining spousal support in high-asset divorces. Courts consider not only the current income of each spouse but also their potential future earning capacity. This may involve evaluating their education, training, work experience and career prospects to determine their ability to support themselves independently.

It’s important for couples going through a high-asset divorce to seek legal counsel to better protect their interests and ensure that all relevant factors are considered when determining spousal support.