In Utah, alimony, also known as spousal support, may be ordered by the court during the Utah divorce process and even later.
Here, our South Jordan alimony attorneys explain the requirements for alimony and how long alimony can be paid in our latest blog.
Alimony in Utah
Alimony is a financial payment from one spouse to the other spouse after a divorce. The amount and extended alimony payments last depend on many factors, like how long you were married, how much each spouse makes, and if you have a child. Let's dive into this post.
Divorce Laws in Utah
Divorce laws in Utah are fair and equitable for each spouse.
The state is a "no-fault" divorce state, meaning you do not need to prove that your spouse did anything wrong to get a divorce.
It would help if you showed an irretrievably broken marriage.
Once you file for divorce, there is a 90-day waiting period before finalizing.
This waiting period gives you and your spouse a chance to reconcile.
You can withdraw your divorce petition if you intervene during the waiting period.
If you cannot reconcile, the family law judge at the Salt Lake City courthouse will divide your property and debts equitably.
The Salt Lake City courthouse will also determine child support arrangements.
If you are considering divorce, learning more with our South Jordan divorce lawyer about your rights and options is crucial.
Our attorney can help you navigate the Utah divorce process and protect your interests.
How Much Alimony Does a Wife Get in Utah?
In Utah, the maximum alimony award a recipient spouse can receive is the amount of their "demonstrated need." Alimony is usually around 40% of the paying party's income. Suppose one spouse has a greater income-earning capacity than the other.
The court in Salt Lake County will likely order them to pay spousal alimony in that case.
How Does Child Support Work in Utah
In Utah, child support is based on the parents' incomes, the number of children, and the time each parent spends with the children. The Utah Child Support Guidelines calculate the amount of child support owed.
If you are going through a divorce involved with child support, you should learn about our South Jordan child support attorney.
Top Eligibility Requirements for Alimony
In Utah, the court doesn’t consider the spouse’s gender when awarding support. This means either spouse is allowed to request alimony. However, the judge looks at several factors to determine the type of alimony, the amount of support necessary, and the duration of alimony.
Factors the judge will use to make alimony decisions may include:
- What are the financial conditions and needs of the dependent spouse?
- What is the recipient’s earning capacity or ability to earn an income?
- Can the paying spouse pay support while having the ability to maintain financial independence?
- How long was the couple married?
- Is the recipient the custody parent of a child that needs child support?
- Does the recipient spouse work for a business owned or operated by the spouse financially responsible?
- Did the recipient contribute to an increase in the paying spouse’s income by helping pay for their education or job training during the marriage?
- Was one spouse considered at fault for the marriage ending?
The last factor mentioned above does have limitations for whether the judge can use it to determine alimony. In Utah, a divorce can be granted on fault-based grounds, including adultery, physical abuse/threats to the other spouse or their children, or undermining the other spouse’s financial stability.
The court cannot use alimony to punish a spouse for acting in a misbehaving manner. In rare circumstances, the judge will only use one of these reasons to determine alimony decisions. Typically, the at-fault spouse must have contributed so much damage due to their behavior that the other spouse will have trouble adjusting to life without financial support.
What is the Maximum Length of Time Someone Can Receive Alimony?
The judge also has the power to determine the duration of alimony payments in Utah family courts. Typically, the couple’s standard of living at the time of separation is used to determine alimony. However, in shorter marriages with no children, the court may consider the standard of living when the marriage began instead.
The length of alimony almost always depends on the length of the marriage. For example, a common standard for deciding alimony duration is that one year should be paid for every three years of marriage. Alimony cannot be ordered for longer than the couple’s marriage. Only in exceptional cases, where there are valid reasons backed by concrete evidence, will alimony be paid longer than the length of time of the marriage.
While the duration of the marriage is the most significant determining factor in deciding how long alimony is to be paid, there are other instances when the alimony duration may stop. For example, alimony may be discontinued if the receiving spouse remarries or begins cohabitating with a new partner.
Speak to a South Jordan Alimony Lawyer Today
Alimony laws in Utah are a complex legal matter. Having a South Jordan spousal support attorney from Carr | Woodall on your side while handling alimony issues can significantly impact how much you will receive or have to pay. Please don’t hesitate to contact our firm if you have questions or concerns about your alimony case.
If you face an alimony issue, please call (801) 988-9400 to speak to one of our South Jordan attorneys.