Ogden UT Alimony Attorney
At Red Law of Ogden, Utah, we have represented clients on both sides of this issue: those who have had to pay alimony and those who have received alimony payments. We understand that alimony can be a fiercely contested issue in divorce cases–it can be a burden for the spouse paying it, but a lifeboat for the spouse receiving it. No matter what the facts of your case are, we will vigorously defend your best interests.
How does the Court Decide if Alimony will be Ordered?
Often the issue of alimony is settled in negotiations and is closely intertwined with things like the division of personal property, the division of retirement funds, child support, and the division of debts. However, it’s important to note that in Utah, alimony is never granted automatically. The courts will consider a number of factors, including:
- The living standards of the couple before they were separated;
- The financial needs of the spouse seeking alimony (i.e. how much money they make vs. how many expenses they have);
- The ability of the other spouse to pay alimony (i.e. how much money they make vs. how many expenses they have);
- The earning capacity, or ability to produce income (i.e. employable skills), of the spouse seeking alimony;
- The length of the marriage;
- Whether the recipient spouse has custody of minor children that require support;
- Whether the spouse seeking alimony contributed to the other spouse’s employable skills (i.e. one spouse stayed home to take care of the family while the other spouse went to school or received special training; one spouse worked to pay for the other spouse’s school or training, and now that other spouse makes more income as a result);
- Whether one of the parties engaged in wrongful conduct during the marriage that led to the couple’s divorce, such as (1) having sexual relations with another person; (2) knowingly and intentionally causing physical harm to their spouse or the couple’s minor children; (3) threatening the other party or the minor children with physical harm; (4) causing financial hardship to the other party or the minor children.
How Much Alimony Will Be Awarded?
There is no hard and fast rule that courts follow to determine the amount of alimony that will be paid to the receiving spouse. The factors listed above guide the court’s decision. However, it is not uncommon for Utah courts to try to equalize the parties’ income. Here’s an example of how that can play out:
- EXAMPLE: Husband makes $5,000 per month and has $4,000 in expenses. This means Husband has $1,000 left over. Wife makes $2,500 per month and has $3,500 in expenses. This means Wife is $1,000 short. In this situation, it would not be uncommon for a Utah court to order Husband to pay his $1,000 in excess to Wife so she breaks even on her expenses.
When Can I Start Receiving Alimony?
A party does not necessarily have to wait until the court enters the decree of divorce before they can start receiving alimony. A spouse may request that the court enter a temporary order which would force the other spouse to pay alimony soon after a divorce is requested. If a spouse does not request temporary orders, they will have to wait until the divorce process is finalized before they start receiving alimony payments.
When Does Alimony Stop?
There are three main scenarios that will result in the termination of alimony payments:
- Alimony may not be awarded for a duration longer than the number of years that the marriage existed unless there are extenuating circumstances. Therefore, if the divorcing couple was married for 10 years, alimony will not typically be awarded for longer than 10 years.
- Alimony terminates when the receiving party cohabitates with a romantic partner.
- Alimony terminates when the receiving spouse gets remarried.
Alimony Lawyer in Ogden, Utah
The Ogden alimony lawyers at Red Law Utah are here to help you receive the alimony you deserve, or to try and help you pay only that amount of alimony that is fair. We believe that your legal issues deserve a personal approach that is tailored to your specific needs. Contact the office today for an appointment.