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How do Utah judges determine alimony?

When a Utah couple divorces, one party may make less money than the other, which puts that individual at a financial disadvantage as they each set up separate households. Even if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are able to amicably negotiate a large portion of the divorce settlement, the issue of alimony can be contentious. As a result, you might end up taking the issue before a judge if you are unable to come to an agreement.

A Utah judge will first review your family's current situation and each individual's financial situation to decide whether alimony is appropriate. If it is, the next step would be to determine how much support is needed and for how long. Absent any extenuating circumstances such as a disability that would hinder one party's ability to support his or herself, all judges typically consider similar factors.

Your current income, and that of your spouse, may be a reflection of the family dynamic during the marriage. For instance, if one of you stayed home with the children, that party may not have a steady source of income but also has the ability to return to the workforce after the divorce. Typically, the court will consider the future earning potential of each of you.

Other factors include the length of the marriage and the personal conduct of the parties during that time. For instance, infidelity can be taken into consideration when determining alimony. Because the court's decision can be based on at least some subjective factors, it is important that you have an attorney represent your interests. Whether you are asking for alimony, or could potentially be paying it, your financial future is at stake.

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