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What is considered grounds for an order of separate maintenance in Utah?

Under Utah Code Ann. 30-4-1, a court may enter an order of separate maintenance requiring that alimony be paid without a filing for divorce.  In order to enter an order of separate maintenance, the court must find that one spouse has deserted the other without good and sufficient cause, has the ability to but refuses to provide support for the other spouse, or without fault lives separately and apart from the other spouse.

Upon the filing of a complaint for separate maintenance and proof of sufficient facts to support the complaint, a Utah district court can enter an order setting aside real or personal property or earnings of the deserting spouse as alimony.  The court may also enter an order granting an award of costs, attorneys fees, and witness fees under Utah Code Ann. 30-3-3.

For some people, obtaining an order of separate maintenance can be a precursor to the filing of a formal petition for divorce.  For others, an order of separate maintenance is used while they work on their relationship and move toward reconciliation.

Regardless of your reasons for seeking an order of separate maintenance, it is important to have competent legal advice and effective representation in the courtroom.  Contact Stephen Howard today to schedule an initial consultation with a Utah divorce attorney.

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