Divorce Alimony - Spousal Support Lawyer in Utah - The Law Office of Eric Swinyard
In divorce cases, “alimony” refers to court-ordered financial support from one party to the other. Alimony awards can total hundreds of thousands of dollars, making it one of the most hotly contested issues in some divorces. An alimony award is not automatic. Alimony, also referred to as “spousal support,” can be ordered on a temporary or permanent basis, depending on the circumstances. Courts use several factors to determine whether alimony should be ordered. The gender of the parties is not considered. Two of the primary factors include the need of the prospective recipient and the earning ability of the parties. In cases involving a disparity of income, the party requesting alimony is in a strong position, especially if he or she contributed in any way to the paying spouse’s skill or education during the marriage.
For questions regarding alimony in Utah, call the Law Office of Eric Swinyard for a free 30-minute consultation with an experienced divorce attorney at (801) 850-9740
In addition to financial matters, courts may also consider the fault of the parties. Since establishing “fault” is a broad process, the relevant statute restricts the definition of fault to include the following: infidelity, knowingly and intentionally causing or attempting to cause physical harm (or the reasonable fear of life-threatening harm) to the other party or minor children, or undermining the financial stability of the other party or minor children. In addition to proving the existence of one or more of these actions, the party requesting alimony must also demonstrate that the fault substantially contributed to the breakup of the marriage.
Calculating Divorce Alimony
Calculating alimony is not as straightforward as calculating child support. Often the simplest way to establish alimony details is through agreement between the parties. When an agreement is not reached, courts will adhere to the fundamental goals of alimony; namely, to get both parties as close as possible to the standard of living that existed during the marriage and to prevent the recipient spouse from becoming a burden on taxpayers. To achieve these goals, courts will scrutinize the financial conditions and needs of the recipient spouse, the recipient’s ability to earn income for himself or herself, and the paying spouse’s ability to provide support.
Termination of Alimony
Alimony obligations terminate for multiple reasons. Sometimes alimony terminates automatically upon expiration of an amount of time specified in the divorce decree. Also, courts cannot order a party to make alimony payments for a period longer than the marriage itself lasted. In addition, alimony terminates when the recipient spouse dies, remarries, or cohabitates with another person.
Alimony in Utah FAQ
Divorce is a complicated process when it comes to dividing property, assets, and even determining child custody – one of the issues that commonly arises is alimony, which can be a contentious time in the divorce proceedings. In order to make this go as smoothly as possible, it is important for everyone living in Utah to understand a few basic points about alimony in this state. Some of the answers to commonly asked questions are below.
Alimony is frequently referred to as spousal support. Alimony is ordered by the court and forces one party to pay the other party for financial support during the time that they are separated, going through divorce proceedings, or even after they are divorced altogether. Alimony is frequently paid on a monthly basis and is determined using a number of different factors.
In the state of Utah, there are several steps that the courts are going to take to determine alimony. The court is going to take a look at the standard of living of the couple during the time of their marriage. Then, the court will look at all of the relevant facts and take into account their standard of living. After this is done, the court will consider a variety of other factors including the financial condition of the requesting spouse, the needs of that spouse, the spouse’s education level, the spouse’s earning capacity, and the ability of the other spouse to pay alimony. Some of the other factors will include the length of the marriage, the custody of the children, and the need for child support.
Alimony is calculated in Utah by the court in a variety of ways but typically relies on the needs of the receiving spouse and the income of the spouse being ordered to pay alimony. Some of the other factors might include the possibility of marital misconduct, the ages and emotional health of the spouses, how long one spouse might have been out of the workforce, and any other factors the court thinks are relevant.
Yes, alimony is tax deductible in Utah. The spouse receiving alimony must declare this amount on their tax return. The spouse paying the alimony can deduct this from his or her taxes.
In Utah, alimony can last for as long as the marriage did. If the marriage lasted for ten years, then alimony can be ordered to be paid for up to 10 years. In some cases, the order might be for less than the length of the marriage. In some cases, extenuating circumstances can result in alimony being extended by the court. Alimony can be terminated if the spouse receiving spousal support remarries or cohabits with someone else after alimony has been issued.
In some situations, the circumstances do change after the initial amount of alimony has been calculated. If either party thinks that the circumstances have changed significantly, they may file a petition with the court for an order to have alimony modified. On the other hand, the court is unlikely to modify alimony to address the needs of the recipient if these needs were not in existence at the time that the initial alimony amount of calculated. This is a complicated process that individuals may want to ask for a legal professional to help with.
Contact an Experienced Spousal Support Lawyer in Utah
Divorce is a complicated process for everyone and it is important to take every step possible to make sure that it goes as smoothly as possible. For help with this, it is important to sit down and meet with an experienced divorce attorney in Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah. The Law Offices of Eric Swinyard is a family law and Utah divorce attorney who provides high-quality legal services at an affordable price. We have the ability to handle a wide range of legal services including:
- Divorce law
- Divorce classes
- Military divorce issues
- Dividing assets and debts
- Paternity issues
- Adoption proceedings
- Child support
- Child support modification
- Child custody issues
- Child custody modification
- Child custody psychological evaluations
- Parent – time/visitation
- Utah parent-time schedules
- Alimony modification
- Estate planning
- Wills and trusts
- Protective orders
- DUI defense
- Utah criminal defense
Alimony is a key benefit to the recipient and potentially devastating to the to the obligated party. Don’t approach the issue without trustworthy legal counsel.