The answer is yes. If the two parties to a divorce proceeding cannot agree on what is an appropriate spousal maintenance obligation, the Judge has the authority to decide the issue of spousal maintenance. In order to complete this inquiry, the Judge has to make explicit Findings of the Husband’s income and expenses and the Wife’s income and expenses.
It is not unusual at a Trial for one spouse to claim a budget and for the other side to claim that some aspects of the budget are unreasonable. By way of example, Husband could claim that he should be allotted $1,000 per month for recreation and entertainment expenses. Wife’s proposed budget for that same category could be $500. In this hypothetical, the Court would have the ability to adjust either parties’ budget.
If your case is likely to go to Trial or to a contested hearing, it is prudent to work closely with your attorney and/or a financial expert under the supervision of the attorney. Presentation of these expenses along with verification is extremely critical. Sometimes, it is not sufficient to simply claim that you have an expense. If the other side challenges it, it may mean that these expenses have to be verified. If the expense is relatively new, it may be necessary to present the reasons why the expense is necessary.
At the conclusion of the Trial, the Judge issues an Order in which the Court arrives at a spousal maintenance amount by making Findings of the income and expenses of both parties.
If you have any questions about how a judge would determine monthly expenses with regard to spousal maintenance, please call me today at 651-647-0087 or reach out via our online contact form to set up your free consultation.