When a couple divorces in Utah, either party may make a request to the court for alimony. Alimony, which is sometimes referred to as spousal support, is the court-ordered amount that one party pays to the other party as a result of a divorce.
Generally, the court will consider the financial status and needs of the person who would receive alimony. This includes the recipient’s current sources of income, debts, employment history, and ability to work.
The court will also review the paying spouse’s ability to provide financial support, as well as the paying spouse’s debts, whether there are minor children to support, and whether the receiving spouse contributed to paying or otherwise supporting the payor’s education. In addition to these factors, the court may review the parties’ standard of living during the marriage when determining whether to award alimony.
In Utah, alimony is not generally ordered for longer than the length of the marriage.
Changing and ending alimony
Either party can petition the court to modify alimony obligations if there has been a substantial change in circumstances that was not foreseeable at the time of the divorce.
For example, if the recipient cohabitates with another person after the alimony order is issued, the alimony may terminate. In this situation, the paying party must prove the cohabitation to the court before they can stop making the alimony payments. Additionally, alimony automatically terminates if the recipient remarries or passes away.
If a party does not pay the court-ordered alimony, the recipient can file a motion with the court to enforce the order. In both of these situations, an experienced family law attorney can answer questions about alimony, guide you through the appropriate court processes, and provide representation.
Please call Kristopher K. Greenwood & Associates at (801) 475-8800 for a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney.