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Will you have to pay alimony forever?

During the Utah divorce process, many ex-spouses either are ordered by the court to pay alimony or voluntarily agree to do so as part of a settlement. In many cases, alimony is paid for several years, though many people are under the impression that it is permanent. That is not necessarily the case, and both parties may benefit from being aware of certain circumstances under which it may be terminated.

There are four main reasons why a Utah court would terminate alimony. A seemingly obvious reason is death. If either party dies, alimony stops. Everyone has the right to move forward with his or her life after a divorce, and many people are lucky enough to find love a second time. If the party receiving alimony is cohabitating with a new partner, it may be possible to terminate payments.

Similarly, if the receiving party remarries, that person's former spouse is no longer obligated to make payments. Last, but not least, the courts will generally not order an ex-spouse to pay alimony longer than the marriage lasted. Therefore, if you and your spouse were married for 20 years, spousal support will often be terminated after 20 years.

Rarely do the circumstances at the time of the divorce last forever. One constant about life is that it is always changing. If there have been significant changes in your life since the divorce, it might make sense to go back to court to see if payments can be stopped. Terminating alimony, however, may not be a simple process. An attorney can review the circumstances surrounding a request to terminate spousal support and advocate for you in court.

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