In this chapter we will discuss the documents that are needed to perform a lifestyle analysis and how those documents are used. In later chapters, we will focus on specific types of income or assets and, more specifically, how the documents are used to investigate those items.
As discussed in Chapter 2, the standard of living enjoyed by the spouses during a marriage is often one of the main factors in awarding spousal support and child support. One cannot determine the “reasonable need” of a spouse unless the actual expenses during the marriage are analyzed. The standard of living will be determined on the basis of historical expenditures, with some modifications or adjustments depending on local rules and/or the circumstances of the case.