Is it Worth Having an Attorney?

Former spouse remarries but the alimony obligation did not end.

Typically remarriage or cohabitation automatically terminates the alimony obligation. Utah Code Ann. Section 30-3- 5(9) provides that, “Unless a decree of divorce specifically provides otherwise, any order of the court that a party pay alimony to a former spouse automatically terminates upon the remarriage or death of that former spouse.”  Cohabitation generally automatically terminates spousal support. Utah Code Ann. Section 30-3- 5(10) provides that, “Any order of the court that a party pay alimony to a former spouse terminates upon establishment by the party paying alimony that the former spouse is cohabitating with another person.”

Husband represented himself in a divorce. He negotiated a divorce agreement with his wife’s attorney. His former wife remarried a few months after this divorce. Husband did not learn of the remarriage and continued paying alimony for several years. At trial, husband sought recovery of alimony paid after her remarriage. To his dismay, the trial court ruled against him. To his further dismay, the Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court’s ruling that her remarriage did not automatically terminate his alimony obligation. You can read the Appellate Court’s rationale in the Cox v. Cox case at:  2012 UT App 225.

This husband represented himself in his divorce and saved himself attorney fees.  It appears he overpaid alimony by nearly $200,000. Sometimes it just makes sense to hire an attorney to assist you from the beginning. We offer consultations and you are not obligated to retain us. Our divorce attorneys in South Jordan provide clients with their personal cell phone number in case you need your attorney after office hours. Sure, Mr. Cox saved a few thousand dollars not hiring an attorney, but he paid his ex-wife $200,000 instead.

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