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How is alimony determined in Utah?

Going from one household to two when a marriage ends often puts a strain on the available monetary resources of the parties. If one spouse will be at a financial disadvantage after the divorce, he or she might be able to obtain alimony. Utah's courts use several factors to determine the amount and duration of the payments.

A review of each spouse's overall financial situation will need to be done in order to determine what it will cost each of them to maintain a household. The income of each party, along with future earning capacities, is then reviewed. Once this information is compiled, other factors are taken into consideration such as the duration of the marriage. If either party engaged in misconduct such as infidelity during the marriage, that could also affect the amount of alimony the other party receives.

Additional factors might also be considered depending on the circumstances. After hearing evidence regarding the above factors from each party, the court will then determine the amount of the alimony payments and for how long they are to be paid. Of course, it is not necessary for the parties to have the court determine alimony.

If the parties are able, they can negotiate their own agreement regarding alimony as part of the divorce settlement. As long as one party is not left at a disadvantage and the agreement does not violate public policy or current Utah laws, the court may approve the amount. Couples who come to an agreement on their own are generally more satisfied with the results, but if they are just not able to agree, the court can make the determination on their behalf.

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