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Utah Alimony Lawyer - Salt Lake Divorce Attorney

Alimony is just one of financial issues at stake in a Utah divorce action. An experienced Utah divorce attorney can protect your rights and help ensure a positive outcome in your case. Based in Salt Lake City, we provide legal services to clients throughout Utah. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation.

Factors to Consider in Determining Alimony in Utah

A Utah court must consider a variety of factors, relating both to the proposed payor and the proposed recipient, before determining whether to award alimony in a divorce proceeding. A qualified divorce attorney can help you understand how these factors relate to your case.

The divorce court may consider many different factors, but is required under Utah's alimony statute to consider at least the following:

  • the earning ability of the payor spouse;
  • the financial condition and needs of the receipient spouse;
  • whether the recipient spouse has custody of children who require support;
  • the length of the marriage;
  • whether the recipient spouse had been employed in a business either owned or operated by the payor spouse;
  • whether the recipient spouse had made significant contributions the the proposed payor spouse's earning capacity (for example, the recipient may have worked to put the payor through college).
A court also may, but is not required to, consider the fault of either party in determing an award of alimony. The term "fault" under the Utah alimony statute is defined as including engaging in sexual relations outside of the marriage, causing intentional physical harm to the other spouse or their children, causing the other spouse or children to reasonably fear life-threatening harm, or significantly undermining the financial stability of the other spouse or their minor children.

In determining an alimony award, in most cases the court should look to the standard of living enjoyed by the family at the time of the separation - not the standard of living of the parties at the time the court hears the matter. But in cases of a short marriage with no children, the court may consider the standard of living initially existing at the time of the marriage. When appropriate, the court may use an award of alimony to attempt to equalize the standar of living of the respective parties.

Alimony, like child support, is an issue over which the courts have continuing jurisdiction. This means that an award of alimony may be later adjusted if the court determines that there has ben a "substantial material change" in circumstances that was not foreseeable at the time that the original alimony award and divorce were entered.

Conditions that May Terminate an Alimony Obligation in Utah

In most cases, the death or remarriage of the recipient spouse will result in an automatic termination of the payor's alimony obligation. However, if the recipeint remarriage is subsequently annulled, the alimony obligation may be renewed - only if the payor spouse was made a party to the action in which the annulment is sought.

In most cases, the duration of an alimony obligation will not be any longer than the duration of the marriage itself. Thus, if there were a five-year marriage, the alimony award would last only for five years. Utah's alimony statute does provide an exception to this rule if there are extenuating circumstances to justify a longer period of time for alimony.

An order of alimony will also terminate under Utah law if it is determined that the former spouse is cohabitating with another person. Alimony does not resume of the cohabitation ends.

Finding a Utah Divorce Attorney in Salt Lake City

Based in Salt Lake City, our family law and divorce attorneys provide legal services to clients throughout Utah. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultatiton in regard to alimony or divorce.

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