Being mundane, day-to-day matters an accurate accounting of living expenses is often neglected in cases of divorce. Once you begin to tally everything though those expenses can mount very quickly and take you by surprise. The other side of that same coin, however, is that your spouse may tend to be overly aggressive when calculating their expenses in order to paint the darkest picture possible of their disposable income.
Not only do you need to take everything on which you spend money into consideration (don’t forget such things as clothing allowances and a cost per mile for automobile maintenance) but such things as inflation and no longer receiving discounts given to married couples for such necessities as insurance. Essentially any necessary goods or services on which money must be spent on a regular basis can generally be included under the heading of “living expense”. Keep in mind that, while the definition of ‘necessities” may be open to interpretation, the court of the final arbiter. While a gym membership may certainly be considered a reasonable living expense in order to maintain your health, daily massages and regular trips to Club Med may not fall under that umbrella in the eyes of the court.
As always, every situation is unique. This series is intended to “start the thinking process” to take emotive choices out of a hard situation. Everyone’s situation is different, and this is not intended as legal advice. Please, speak to a divorce attorney prior to making any decisions, especially decisions based on a simple blog post. There are many mitigating factors that will go into the final divorce decree.