Like marriage, alimony is not necessarily forever
Just as American society and its courts have come to realize that insistence on “marriage is forever” can be a mistake, so too does Utah recognize that alimony also should not be forever. Barring extenuating circumstances, Utah courts rarely require alimony payments to go on for longer than the number of years the marriage endured. So in a marriage of 15 years, alimony payments might be required for up to the first 15 years following divorce. Of course, the court could decide on a lesser span. Indeed, for a couple married two years and bearing no children, the court may decide neither spouse should receive alimony. Fillmore Spencer LLC attorneys bring more than 20 years’ experience to helping couples and the courts arrive at fair spousal maintenance arrangements.
In calculating payments for alimony, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, the court looks at the couple’s standard of living at the time of separation, as well as:
Fillmore Spencer LLC family lawyers are familiar with the state’s spousal maintenance calculation formulas and know which considerations judges have the most discretion over and which arguments they are likely to favor.
Contrary to the calculations for child support, where the child’s best interests are always paramount, and division of marital property, calculations for spousal maintenance can be affected by the grounds for divorce cited in the filer’s petition.
If the court finds that adultery or domestic violence was the primary cause for divorce, the adulterer or abuser is not eligible to receive alimony. If filing on grounds of adultery, you will need to show the court circumstantial evidence of the affair: Phone records, credit card and bank statements, photos and videos may all document adultery. If your spouse was unfaithful, but you forgave him or her and continued to live together, the court won’t consider your spouse’s adultery when deciding alimony. The same situation applies if you also had an affair.
Utah alimony payments automatically terminate should the recipient remarry. Payments may also be terminated by the court if the recipient cohabitates with another and benefits financially from the arrangement. Alimony payments may of course be modified as financial circumstances change for either spouse.
Spousal support can be one of the most contested aspects of divorce. Occasionally, one or both may attempt to “fudge” the process. Hidden assets, bogus claims of bankruptcy, “under-the-table” income and denial of cohabitation are but a few of these ploys. Fillmore Spencer LLC attorneys know what the courts expect and the strategies your counterpart may pursue, and helps ensure your best interests are represented, recognized and fairly treated. Call our Provo office at (801) 426-8200 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.