Is Lifetime maintenance and alimony possible these days?
Basically, your question is, can you still live a posh life after you divorce your sugar daddy, correct? Well yes and no. After you divorce a rich man (assuming you are not rich and were not rich when you entered the marriage) who has supported you throughout the marriage you are generally entitled to be kept at the “marital standard of living.” The case that says that is Hartog v. Hartog. In Hartog v. Hartog the Court of Appeals in New York “reminded the lower courts that consideration of the pre-divorce standard of living is an essential component of evaluating and properly determining the duration and amount of the maintenance award.”
But it is not as if just because you married a billionaire, that you are per se entitled to lifetime maintenance and alimony. The court will consider “reasonable needs,” “ability to be self-supporting” and “pre-divorce standard of living.”
Other cases have weighed in on this issue such as Fleitz v. Fleitz where the court looked at the “wife’s lack of earning capacity, withdrawal from the workplace to be a wife, mother and homemaker, the educational opportunities she gave up, the husband’s tax Free income …”
But, the Hartog court has cautioned, and that was affirmed in Pejo v. Pejo that “a lavish pre divorce lifestyle will not be automatically preserved.”
So, after you divorce your sugar daddy, where are you? Well, it depends. If you had a long term marriage and there are assets left over after this recession has done it’s jig, then you may get life-time maintenance in an amount that preserves your “high life” standard of living pre-divorce.
But, if there has been, say, a reversal of fortune due to adverse financial circumstances beyond the control of the paying spouse then, notwithstanding the high life you’ve become accustomed to, you are likely to only get durational maintenance (limited in time and scope) and, particularly if you did not have a lengthy marriage, and you are under fifty and can work, life is not going to be the same. Your standard of living is more than likely going to drop. Sorry.
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