In many Utah divorce cases, alimony (court-ordered spousal support) is a critical issue.
The state laws that surround alimony are highly complex. For this reason, consulting with an experienced Utah divorce lawyer is the best way to get expert legal advice regarding your specific spousal support concerns.
An attorney can provide answers to all your questions and help you determine the best approach to getting the alimony you need and deserve from your divorce.
Who Can Get Alimony in a Utah Divorce?
Alimony is not based on gender and either party can ask the court for spousal support. That said, Utah divorce courts only award support payments to the spouse who is financially disadvantaged, as the purpose of alimony is to maintain the established marital standard of living.
How Do Utah Divorce Courts Calculate Alimony?
While some states have a formula for calculating alimony, Utah courts determine spousal support plans on a case-by-case basis.
Judges consider a variety of factors in making their decision, including the financial resources, obligations and earning capacity of both parties. Fault in causing the marriage to end may also play a role in the alimony calculations.
How Long Do Alimony Payments Last?
In Utah, support can be temporary, awarded only for the duration of the separation or divorce proceedings. Often, however, payments last for a specific amount of time which, in almost every case, is only as long as the number of years the marriage lasted.
Judges generally only consider permanent alimony if one party is disabled or has a health condition that prevents them from becoming financially self-sufficient.
Do the Utah Courts Ever Modify Alimony Payments?
Spousal support plans are not set in stone. Certain circumstances – such as involuntary job loss or a serious pay cut – can cause financial conditions to change in a substantial and material way. If an unforeseen situation occurs, either party can ask the court to modify the payment structure.
Does Alimony Stop if the Recipient Starts Living with Someone?
If the party on the receiving end of the spousal support moves in with someone else, alimony payments do not automatically end. The court may decide to terminate the award; however, the paying party must prove the cohabitation. Furthermore, sharing a domicile with someone isn’t enough. For alimony to stop, the new relationship must be akin to a common law marriage, where the recipient and their new roommate are intimate and share living expenses.
Alimony is frequently a bitter point of contention in divorce proceedings. If your marriage is ending and you think the case may involve spousal support, consult an experienced local Utah divorce lawyer who understands the state laws and has the legal knowledge to protect your rights and interests.
Rex. B. Bushman, Attorney at Law, is a dedicated legal professional with decades of experience dealing with complicated spousal support concerns. For expert advice and answers to all your questions about Utah divorce and alimony, call today to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation.