The idea behind Utah alimony is often the “bread earner” received substantial support from his or her spouse. So it would be unfair for the bread earner to receive all the financial benefits from the relationship. Generally in Utah alimony is required for up to the length of the marriage. So if you are married 5 years alimony would be owed for 5 years after the marriage, and so on. However, the parties can agree on less or more if they wish.
The calculation of alimony in Utah is not as black and white as Utah child support. The court looks at the whole financial picture, gross income, net income, necessary expenses, etc. Ultimately the court wants to ensure that both parties are as financially stable as possible. From a practical standpoint it is often difficult to cover the proverbial “two beds with one blanket” and often both parties have to go without initially in order to even make ends meet. You can contact Pearson Law Firm for further information, or for a free consultation with an experienced Utah divorce attorney/alimony attorney.
Criteria for Utah Alimony
The court looks at several things when determining alimony in Utah, there is no hard and fast rule but the most typical standards for Utah alimony are the following:
- The length of the marriage;
- The paying spouse’s ability to pay;
- The recipients need for support;
- The recipients earning capacity;
- Whether the recipient worked for a business owned and operated by the his/her spouse;
- Whether the recipient contributed to his/her spouses income by putting him/her through school;
- The standard of living that the payee has become accustomed to during the marriage; and
- Fault of a party.
The main factors are usually the paying spouse’s ability to pay and the recipient’s need for support. If the recipient does not require financial support then generally it will not be awarded, unless the paying spouse is wealthy enough that the court looks at the standard of living the parties have been accustomed to. This is why wealthy parties often have large alimony payments, its not that the recipient needs that much to survive, but since the money is available and usually the recipient contributed in some way, a larger amount is required.
If the paying spouse cannot afford to pay alimony then it is difficult for the court to order it, after all you can’t get blood out of a turnip. But even in that situation the court will often order some kind of alimony, with the expectation that both parties are going to have to budget and go without. The court will rarely let one party live comfortably while the other party is in financial duress.
Utah Alimony is one of the few aspects of divorce in Utah that can be affected by “fault”. Utah is a “no-fault” state when it comes to divorce, except when it comes to alimony. Utah alimony can be increased or decreased by the court if it determines that one of the parties is at fault in the Utah divorce; i.e., he/she had an affair, physically harmed his/her spouse or children, threatened to harm his/her spouse or children, or substantially undermined his/her spouse’s financial stability. Nevertheless, it can still be difficult to get a court to recognize fault even for alimony purposes. But your Utah Alimony Attorney at Pearson Law Firm can help you determine if it’s worth the effort, whether you’re the paying party or the recipient. Contact Pearson Law Firm today for a free consultation with an experienced Utah divorce attorney/alimony attorney, 801-888-0991.
How does the Court Calculate Alimony in Utah?
Utah Alimony is determined by both parties submitting a budget. The court will go through the budget and determine which expenses are necessary, if a court determines that an expense is too high or unnecessary then it will reduce the expense or get rid of it completely. The court can’t actually order that you reduce or get rid of the expense, but it will calculate alimony based on the assumption that the expense does not exist or is lower, which can compel you to reduce or get rid of the expense in order to afford Utah alimony payments.
When does Alimony Terminate?
Unlike Child Support, in Utah alimony automatically terminates upon the death or remarriage of the recipient. Utah Alimony also terminates if the recipient cohabitates with another person. However, the paying party cannot just stop paying, he or she must prove to the court that the recipient is cohabiting with another person and get a termination order.
As stated above, alimony is a very gray area, luckily your attorney at Pearson Law Firm has experience in dealing with alimony issues. Call now for a free consultation with an experienced Utah divorce attorney/alimony attorney, 801-888-0991.