A lifestyle analyst is a professional, other than your lawyer, who you may hire to evaluate and establish the standard of living during the marriage. He or she is specially trained in divorce issues and frequently has other financial certifications, such as a Certified Financial Planner.
The analyst typically assesses your day-to-day living expenses, financial accounts, and income in greater detail than your lawyer. The reports prepared by the analyst can be vital in helping people project how much money they need to be awarded from the divorce in order to maintain the same standard of living they did during the marriage. Sometimes, the analysts uncover assets and liabilities that their clients did not even know existed.
Many times lawyers recommend hiring a lifestyle analyst when people are unable to settle their case and it must proceed to trial. A lifestyle analyst can be called as an expert witness in these cases and present his or her reports that support your claims–whether they be for spousal support or for a greater allocation of property.
People are sometimes reluctant to hire a lifestyle analyst if they have already hired a lawyer, since it’s another cost. Usually these professional charge by the hour, like a lawyer, and require a retainer. Your lawyer can advise you if, based on the facts of your case, it might be cost effective or helpful to retain a lifestyle analyst.