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Salt Lake City – Ogden – Lehi
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Salt Lake City – Ogden – Lehi

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The role of fault in an alimony award

Divorces can be financially and emotionally messy, and it is not unusual for someone considering divorce to worry about how they will support themselves once their marriage is over. If an individual was financially dependent on their spouse’s income while they were married, they may be concerned about how they will maintain a similar standard of living after a divorce. A form of support that may be available is alimony, sometimes referred to as spousal support. Alimony is a payment that one party provides the other for support while they are separated, in the process of getting divorced, and/or after they are divorced.

Utah courts look at a variety of factors to determine if alimony is appropriate in a divorce. One of these factors is the fault of the parties regarding the end of their marriage. This post will look at fault in the context of alimony and serves only to provide general information. No part of this post should be read as legal advice.

Factors that are weighed in a request for alimony

Many of the factors courts look at when deciding matters related to alimony concern the parties’ characteristics. Courts can look at the length of the parties’ marriage and how each party contributed to the marriage’s functioning. They can evaluate the parties’ earning capacities and whether one of the parties gave up work opportunities to support their family and/or spouse.

Courts can also look at the role of fault in a divorce when considering a request for alimony. In Utah, courts recognize several situations as evidence of fault:

  • Having a sexual relationship with an individual other than the party’s spouse;
  • Causing or attempting to cause harm to one’s spouse or minor children, or causing those parties to fear imminent harm; and
  • Undermining the financial stability of the marital relationship.

If the party obligated to pay alimony is responsible for fault in their divorce, this fault may weigh in favor of their ex when it comes to establishing a spousal support order.

Fighting for fair alimony outcomes

The end of a marriage means more than the end of a relationship. It can mean financial instability and an upheaval of one’s standard of living. Alimony is an effective tool to help men or women transition out of their marriages with the financial support they require and deserve. Experienced divorce attorneys can help them fight for what is right and fair in their legal proceedings.

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