Alimony

Alimony

Alimony or spousal support is a monthly payment made by one spouse to another in accordance with either a settlement agreement or a court decision. The purpose of alimony is to correct any unfair economic effects caused by a divorce, such as when a stay-at-home parent suddenly needs a source of income after the divorce but has never held a job. Spousal support is generally issued in connection with cases involving divorce or legal separation. Also known as alimony, spousal support is where one spouse pays the other ex-spouse a certain sum of money, usually on a monthly basis. Courts may require this in instances where one party is much more financially stable than the other, and the other party needs assistance in beginning life after the divorce or separation. Spousal support is issued on a case-by-case basis, and each case will be different in terms of the spousal support analysis.

In most cases, only persons who have been involved in a marriage of a longer duration (usually over 5 years) are qualified for spousal support. Also, the court will take into account several factors when making the support determination, including:
• The earning capacity of each spouse
• The assets and property owned by each person
• Whether one party is significantly involved in debt
• Whether the parties were engaged in a shared business
• Each party’s contribution to the relationship (for instance, as a homemaker, or in terms of joint careers/education)
• Whether the parties have worked out spousal support provisions in a prenuptial agreement
• Various other factors, such as mental and physical health conditions
• Certain factors can disqualify a person from child support, such as a history of abuse or a history of certain charges on one’s criminal record.

Spousal support orders that are issued by the court are final and enforceable by law. However, they can sometimes be altered due to unique or special circumstances that become present later on. An example of this is where the spouse receiving support payments begins cohabiting with another partner who begins supporting them financially. Another example is where one party is experiencing extreme hardship. Spousal support can also be terminated for various reasons. It is usually ordered after a divorce when either the spouse mutually agrees on the payments or when the judge looks at all the relevant factors and decides that alimony or spousal support is necessary to support one spouse. Spousal support is generally awarded to a spouse who has been out of work during the marriage or makes a lower income and needs the support of the other husband even after the divorce. The judge could order one spouse to pay the alimony payments in one lump sum if the spouse has the ability to do so or make monthly payments. Alimony payments can also be modified depending on the ability to pay. For example, if one spouse gets a significant raise in income or loses their job and cannot pay, then the spousal support is also modified since it changes the ability to pay. Alimony, now often known as spousal support or maintenance, is a payment made by one ex-spouse to the other to help them maintain the same standard of living they enjoyed while in the marriage. If you and your spouse are unable to negotiate an alimony settlement, a judge will calculate the amount and duration of spousal support. It is not gender-based; either spouse may request alimony from the other. A court will award alimony only to a spouse who is financially disadvantaged, however. In other words, you can’t get alimony out of your spouse if you are the one who has more income, property, or both.

Most states have their own alimony calculator or alimony guidelines for calculating spousal support. However, judges generally look at the following factors:
• The length of the marriage
• Each person’s current salary and future earning potential
• Each person’s other income from sources such as interest, dividends and trusts
• Whether one spouse contributed to the education and career advancement of the other during the marriage
• Whether one spouse was a homemaker during the marriage
• If the couple has children, whether the custodial parent’s future earnings will be limited because of their parental responsibilities
• The age of each spouse and whether either spouse has any physical, mental or emotional issues
• Whether either party was at fault in the divorce
• Whether there are other economic circumstances that seriously affect either spouse. If a spouse is unable to meet the appropriate standard of living without help from the other spouse, then the court looks to a series of factors to determine the amount and duration of alimony. It evaluates the recipient spouse’s financial resources, needs, and earning capacity, as well as the payer spouse’s ability to pay. The court is not required to order an advantaged spouse to pay support if so doing means that the paying spouse won’t be able to be self-supporting. Likewise, the court can’t make the payer spouse pay more than what the recipient spouse needs to meet the marital standard of living, no matter how much money the paying spouse might be able to pay.

• Once the court settles the spouses’ property rights, it will consider a request for alimony. Generally, the court looks to the standard of living enjoyed at the time of separation to determine appropriate alimony, but it can also look at the situation at the time of trial if there has been a significant change in resources since the time of separation – the loss of a job, for example. If your marriage was short and there are no children, the court could use the standard of living at the beginning of marriage instead. After looking at these factors, the judge will decide whether either spouse is entitled to maintenance payments. The judge will also decide how much alimony a person is entitled to and the length of time during which alimony will be paid.

Many factors help determine how much alimony a spouse can get. There is no definite formula to help compute the total amount of spousal support. However, it is computed based on circumstances such as:
• Property and income of the husband and wife,
• Impairments in the capacity to earn,
• Standard of living,
• Length of marriage,
• The number of children to be raised,
• Each spouse’s capacity to earn, and
• Contributions and sacrifices of one spouse for the other spouse’s education or career.

If you are earning more than your spouse, you have a chance of receiving less alimony. If there are children involved and other factors that can help you with your situation, you should be able to get a reasonable amount of alimony. Getting alimony is done through the agreement of both parties. They will discuss how much will be paid on a monthly basis. In case of differences or non-agreement, attorney assistance is needed. If there is still no agreement despite the help of the lawyers, the court will decide on how much money a spouse should get.

Legal Process Of Alimony

Figuring out how much you as a divorcing woman can get for alimony may require help from an attorney. You and your spouse, together with your lawyers will sit down and discuss details such as your ability to earn, your children, standard of living and more. Once the amount is determined, you will then compute if you will receive your alimony on a monthly basis or as a lump sum. It is also advisable to consult with a tax professional about the implications of taxes when receiving alimony, as it is counted as an income on the part of the receiver. Negotiations take place after all the details are discussed. Both spouses, together with their lawyers, will meet with each other. Negotiation is faster compared to a court order, which is why both parties should agree during this period as much as possible. If the terms are agreed upon, both parties should sign the agreement. Otherwise, it will be discussed in court.

To file for alimony in court, as a divorcing woman, you should do the following steps:
• Separate from the spouse: The spouses must first be separated in order to receive alimony. A temporary alimony is received during the beginning of the separation.
• Gather financial information: The courts will require you to present any form of financial information to prove your financial capabilities. Documents such as bank statements, pay slips, proof of rent or mortgage payments and the like are supporting documents to show your financial situation.
• Take it to court: You must file the alimony to the proper courts. You should file it to the court where you and your spouse are currently living.
• Fill out the forms: To properly file for alimony, you must find the forms that are applicable to your case. Once you are done with the forms, you can file them and pay the corresponding fees.
• Inform your spouse: A notice of the alimony petition as well as the divorce is needed in order to inform your spouse. However, if the both of you already signed a joint divorce petition, wait for your spouse’s reply. This will take 21 up to 30 days. Once you get a reply, wait for your court hearing date. You and your spouse will then meet in court and await a decision.

Modification or Termination

Unless the spouses have made a specific written agreement about when alimony ends or under what circumstances it can be modified, when and how an alimony award can be modified depends on the type of alimony.

• A bridge-the-gap award is not modifiable under any circumstances.
• A court might modify rehabilitative alimony if the recipient fails to comply with the rehabilitative plan or completes the plan early.
• Rehabilitative alimony, durational alimony, and permanent alimony are all modifiable if there has been a substantial change in financial circumstances for either spouse; however, except in extraordinary circumstances, durational alimony can only be modified in amount, not in duration, and even in exceptional circumstances the duration can never exceed the length of the marriage.

Both permanent alimony and temporary alimony end automatically if the recipient remarries or if either spouse dies. A court can also modify or terminate an award of permanent alimony if the recipient lives with an unrelated person in a supportive relationship. The spouse asking for a modification on this basis must prove the supportive nature of a relationship. The court will find consider the following:

• the extent to which the two people in question have held themselves out as a married couple. for example by using the same last name, using a common mailing address, referring to each other as “my husband” or “my wife”
• the length of time they have lived together at a permanent address
• the extent to which they have pooled assets and income, or otherwise exhibited financial interdependence
• the extent of mutual support between them, including support for each other’s children, regardless of legal obligation
• performance of valuable services for each other, or for each other’s company or employer
• whether the two have worked together to create or enhance anything of value
• whether they have purchased property together, and
• evidence that the two have either an express or implied agreement regarding property sharing or support.
• Average Duration of Alimony
• In short and medium-length marriages, courts generally award alimony for a duration of one-half to one-third the length of the marriage.

For marriages of 20 years or more, a court may award permanent alimony, depending on the age of the spouse receiving alimony. For example, for a marriage that lasted at least 20 years, the spouse receiving alimony can receive permanent alimony if the spouse is over age 50. The recipient of alimony receives alimony payments as long as the spouse has a need for support. Therefore, when the alimony recipient remarries or cohabits, the spouse’s alimony payments can be discontinued. Once your divorce is final and alimony decisions are made, either by the court or through your own agreement with your ex, they can be changed. Once again, it depends. If alimony is granted for an extended period, it normally terminates if the receiving spouse remarries, unless there’s an agreement or court order to the contrary entered at the time of the divorce. However, judges in some states, in some circumstances, have the discretion to continue alimony even after the spouse receiving it remarries unless your written settlement agreement specifies that payment will stop if one of you remarries.

Alimony Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help with alimony, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Is Alimony Mandatory In Utah?

Is Alimony Mandatory In Utah

No. Alimony in not mandatory in Utah, but you may be able to receive it or you may have to pay it.

Spousal support is not mandatory in most states but can be ordered by a judge under certain circumstances. If a spouse will face hardships without financial support, spousal support should be considered. The deciding factor for spousal support is the need to maintain the spouse at his or her customary standard of living. In other words, the law recognizes a husband or wife should not be forced to live at a level below that enjoyed during the marriage. However, other factors also need to be considered. For example, spousal support should most likely not be considered if:

• The marriage was for a short duration (less than two or three years), and

• Both spouses are employed and self-sufficient.

Spousal support has variable timeframes. It can be for an unlimited period, subject to the death or remarriage of the recipient spouse, or fixed to end on a specific date. Child support payments do take priority over spousal support. There is no firm dollar figure for spousal support. The amount should be decided by both parties. Some common ways of calculating spousal support are to take up to 40% of the paying spouse’s net income (post-child support), less 50% of the amount of the supported spouse’s net income (if he or she is working). Spousal support can be waived by the recipient spouse. However, the waiver should be in writing and signed by both spouses.

Therefore, to summarize the grounds on which the alimony can be denied are as follows:

• If the Wife is earning enough to maintain herself

• If the wife is in an adulterous relationship

Anyhow, this shall not affect the maintenance rights of the children. As per the provision under the Law, the daughter is liable to get maintenance till she is married and the son is liable to get maintenance till the age of 18 years. Alimony is not an automatic matter of consideration by the Court; rather it comes to the scene only after the wife has applied for it. There are basically four ways by which alimony can be granted the following;

• Rehabilitation Alimony: If the wife is not financially independent, or does not have any means to earn all by herself to maintain herself, then in such a situation, the Court grants alimony order. Where the wife is educated enough and is capable to find a job and maintain herself, then in such a situation, the Court shall instruct the wife to look for a suitable job and shall be liable only till the wife settles down financially. There is no set time for rehabilitative alimony to end, and it is determined based on the individual situation. This type of alimony will likely be reviewed at intervals to check on the progress of the recipient.
• Permanent Alimony: Permanent alimony is when the payments are to continue indefinitely. There are many reasons that a judge would order this type of alimony. One situation may be if the recipient is handicapped and unable to work and become self-sufficient. If the recipient married without ever gaining employment skills, and has never worked but has raised children and taken care of the home, this recipient may be entitled to permanent alimony. Usually, permanent alimony will not stop unless one spouse dies, the recipient gets remarried or cohabitates with someone else.

• Reimbursement alimony: In the situation where one spouse worked to put the other spouse through college or a work related program which resulted in this spouse earning more money reimbursement alimony may be awarded. Typically, the alimony will continue until the cost or half of the cost of schooling has been paid back.
• Hefty Alimony: In this kind of alimony, the spouse is ordered to pay lump-sum alimony will not be required to pay any other type of alimony to the recipient. In certain cases, you cannot avoid paying alimony totally, but the amount can be reduced with the strategically argument of a skilled lawyer.

Basics of Alimony

Ability to Pay: Courts always consider a person’s ability to pay when setting his alimony obligation. A court looks at the payer’s gross income from all sources (wages, public benefits, interest and dividends on investments, rents from real property, profits from patents and the like, and any other sources of income), less any mandatory deductions (income taxes, Social Security, health care and mandatory union dues). The result is the payer’s net income. In most states, deductions for credit union payments and wage attachments are not subtracted when calculating net income. The reason for this rule is that the law accords support payments a higher priority than other types of debts, and would rather see other debts not paid than have a spouse go without adequate support.

Ability to Earn: When a court computes the amount of alimony to be paid by a spouse, both parties’ ability to earn is usually taken into account. Actual earnings are an important factor in determining a person’s ability to earn, but are not conclusive where there is evidence that a person could earn more if she chose to do so. Some states, however, set alimony payments based only on actual earnings that is, the ability to pay.
Ability to Be Self-Supporting: The ability of an ex-spouse to support herself is normally considered by a court when setting the amount and duration of alimony to be paid to that spouse. A court looks to whether the ex-spouse possesses marketable skills and whether she is able to work outside the home (having custody of pre-school children and not having access to day care could make this impossible). The ability to be self-supporting differs from actually being self-supporting. If a spouse has marketable skills and is able to work outside the home, but has chosen not to look for work, the court is very likely to limit the amount and length of alimony. In many states, no alimony is awarded if both spouses are able to support themselves. If, however, one spouse was dependent on the other for support during the marriage, the dependent spouse is often awarded alimony for a transition period or until she becomes self-supporting. If a spouse receiving alimony becomes self supporting before the time set by the court for the alimony to end, the paying spouse can go to court and file a request for modification or for a termination of alimony. Conversely, if at the end of the support period the ex-spouse does not have the ability to support herself, she may request an extension of alimony, which may be difficult to obtain.

Standard of Living During Marriage: When a court sets alimony, it often considers the family’s pre-divorce standard of living and attempts to continue this standard for both spouses. If only one spouse worked outside the home and in many marriages where both spouses worked outside the home, it is usually impossible to continue the same standard of living for both people after the spouses have gone their separate ways. Maintenance of the same standard of living is therefore more of a goal than a guarantee.
Length of Marriage: When a marriage is relatively short approximately three years or fewer and no children were born or adopted, courts often refuse to award alimony. If there are children under school age, however, alimony may be awarded to the parent given physical custody because the court wants to enable the custodial parent to care full-time for the child.

Tax Consequences of Alimony: For federal income tax purposes, alimony paid under a written agreement or court order is deductible by the payer and is taxable to the recipient. Child support, on the other hand, is tax-free to the recipient but not deductible by the payer. In the past, when ex-spouses had more flexibility in negotiating the amount of child support and alimony, many ex-spouses agreed to greater alimony and less child support because of the resulting tax advantage to the payer. Because all states determine the basic child support obligation by formula, however, shifting the amounts of child support and alimony to take advantage of tax deductions is increasingly difficult.

Debts: Upon divorce, the court allocates debts incurred during marriage between the spouses based on who can pay and who benefits most from the asset attached to the debt. If the court orders a spouse to pay a large portion of marital debts, it often reduces the amount of alimony that spouse is ordered to pay.

Agreement Before Marriage: Before a couple marries, the parties may make an agreement concerning certain aspects of their relationship, including whether alimony will be paid in the event the couple later divorces. These agreements are also called ante-nuptial, pre-nuptial or pre-marital agreements. They are usually upheld by courts unless one person shows that the agreement is likely to promote divorce (for example, by including a large alimony amount in the event of divorce), was written and signed with the intention of divorcing or was unfairly entered into (for example, a spouse giving up all of his rights in his spouse’s future earnings without the advice of an attorney).

Lump Sum Support: In several states, a spouse may pay his total alimony obligation at the time of the divorce by giving the other spouse a lump sum payment equal to the total amount of future monthly payments. This is another term for lump sum support. Occasionally, alimony obligations are paid less frequently than monthly. This is called periodic support. Traditionally, periodic support was paid until the recipient died or remarried. Today, however, because alimony is usually paid for a fixed period, periodic support is more like lump sum support divided over a few periodic payments. Upon divorce, couples commonly enter into a divorce agreement which divides marital property and may set alimony. The agreement is called integrated if the property settlement and alimony payments are combined into either one lump sum payment or periodic payments. Integrated agreements are often used when the marital property consists of substantial intangible assets (for example, future royalties, stock options or future pension plans) or when one party is buying the other’s interest in a valuable tangible asset (for example, a home or business). In addition, if a spouse is entitled to little or no alimony, but is not financially independent, periodic payments may help that spouse gain financial independence.

When parties are unable to agree on a modification of alimony, the party wanting the change will have to file a request for a modification of alimony with the court. She must usually show that circumstances have changed substantially since the time of the previously issued order. This rule encourages stability of arrangements and helps prevent the court from becoming overburdened with frequent and repetitive modification requests. Below are several examples of a change of circumstances.

• Change in law: When a law affecting alimony is amended or a new law enacted, this by itself can sometimes constitute the changed circumstance necessary to file a request for modification of a prior alimony order.

• Cohabitation: In some states, an alimony recipient who begins cohabiting (usually living intimately with a person of the opposite sex but a few courts have applied this rule to women who begin living with female lovers) is presumed to need less alimony than originally awarded. If the recipient objects, it is her burden to show that her needs have not decreased.

• Cost of living increase: When inflation reduces the value of alimony payments, the recipient may cite her increased cost of living as a changed circumstance and request an increase.

• Decrease in income/decreased ability to pay/loss of job: When an ex- spouse paying alimony suffers a decrease in earnings, she may be able to obtain from the court a downward modification of alimony. The modification may be temporary or permanent, depending on her prospects for new work or increased hours.

• Decreased need for alimony: When a former spouse’s need for alimony decreases or ceases, the court may reduce or terminate the alimony if the paying spouse files a request for modification. Such a request can be made if the alimony recipient gets a job, an increase in pay or sometimes if she begins intimately living with someone of the opposite sex (cohabiting).

• Disability: Disability in family law generally means the inability to earn enough income to support oneself through work because of a physical or mental condition. A temporary disability suffered by a person paying alimony may warrant a temporary decrease of alimony. A permanent disability may warrant a request for modification of alimony based on changed circumstances. Similarly, if a recipient of alimony becomes disabled, a court may order an increase if her earnings decreased or her expenses increased (for example, health care or child care) as a result.

• Financial emergency: A financial emergency occurs when a person is unexpectedly required to lay out money (for example, to pay sudden medical bills). When a person who pays alimony suffers a financial emergency, he may file a request with the court for a temporary decrease of alimony. When a person who receives alimony suffers a financial emergency, she may ask the court for a temporary increase.

• Hardship: Hardship means suffering or adversity. If compliance with a legal obligation would cause a hardship on a person or his family, he may be excused from the obligation. For example, a payer’s inability to meet an alimony obligation without great economic suffering himself is a hardship. If a court finds this hardship substantial, the payer may be relieved of all or a part of his support obligation for a temporary or indefinite period.

• Increase in income: When an alimony recipient’s income increases, her ex-spouse may file with the court a request for modification of the alimony, claiming that the changed circumstance means his ex-spouse needs less alimony. Whether the court will agree depends on the particular facts of the situation. When the paying spouse’s income increases, alimony may stay the same if the recipient’s needs are being met. If her ex did not have the ability to pay enough alimony to meet her true needs before the increase in income, however, a court might grant a request for a modification based on the increase.

• Medical emergencies: Medical emergencies that require large expenditures of money are the kind of temporary and catastrophic circumstances that may support a temporary modification of alimony. If the recipient suffers the emergency, the payer may be required to temporarily increase payments (if he is able). Likewise, if the payer is the one with the emergency, his duty to support may temporarily be eased by the court.

• New support obligation: When an ex-spouse paying alimony assumes a new legal support obligation (for example, adopts, remarries or has a child), the court may reduce the earlier alimony order if it would be a hardship to pay the prior alimony and meet the new obligation. On the other hand, if the new support obligation is voluntarily assumed (for example, helping to support stepchildren when there is no duty to do so), rather than required by law, a court is unlikely to order a reduction.
In theory, courts are supposed to refuse to retroactively modify an alimony obligation. This means if a person is unable to pay support, he may petition the court for a reduction, but even if the court reduces future payments, it should hold him liable for the full amount of support due and owing. Many courts, however, do not follow this rule. Although the courts will state that they refuse to make retroactive modifications, they frequently excuse the payers from some of the arrearages.

The courts’ reasoning is that if the recipients survived the months (or years) without the support, they truly can get by without it. Each installment of court-ordered alimony is owed and to be paid according to the date set out in the order. When an ex-spouse ordered by a court to pay alimony does not comply, the overdue payments are called arrearages or arrears. Because the majority of people ordered to pay alimony don’t, and a growing number of women who are awarded (but not paid) alimony are poor, many (but unfortunately, not enough) courts are becoming more strict than they were a few years ago about enforcing alimony orders and collecting alimony arrearages. A wage attachment is a court order requiring an employer to deduct a certain amount of money from an employee’s paycheck each pay period in order to satisfy a debt. Wage attachments are often used to collect alimony or child support arrearages and to secure payment in the future.

Alimony Attorney Free Consultation

When you need legal help for Alimony in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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What Are The Rules For Alimony?

What Are The Rules For Alimony

Alimony or spousal support is a monthly payment made by one spouse to another in accordance with either a settlement agreement or a court decision. The purpose of alimony is to correct any unfair economic effects caused by a divorce, such as when a stay-at-home parent suddenly needs a source of income after the divorce but has never held a job. Spousal support is generally issued in connection with cases involving divorce or legal separation. Also known as alimony, spousal support is where one spouse pays the other ex-spouse a certain sum of money, usually on a monthly basis. Courts may require this in instances where one party is much more financially stable than the other, and the other party needs assistance in beginning life after the divorce or separation.

Spousal support is issued on a case-by-case basis, and each case will be different in terms of the spousal support analysis. In most cases, only persons who have been involved in a marriage of a longer duration (usually over 5 years) are qualified for spousal support. Also, the court will take into account several factors when making the support determination, including:

• The earning capacity of each spouse
• The assets and property owned by each person
• Whether one party is significantly involved in debt
• Whether the parties were engaged in a shared business
• Each party’s contribution to the relationship (for instance, as a homemaker, or in terms of joint careers/education)
• Whether the parties have worked out spousal support provisions in a prenuptial agreement
• Various other factors, such as mental and physical health conditions
• Certain factors can disqualify a person from child support, such as a history of abuse or a history of certain charges on one’s criminal record.

Spousal support orders that are issued by the court are final and enforceable by law. However, they can sometimes be altered due to unique or special circumstances that become present later on. An example of this is where the spouse receiving support payments begins cohabiting with another partner who begins supporting them financially. Another example is where one party is experiencing extreme hardship. Spousal support can also be terminated for various reasons. It is usually ordered after a divorce when either the spouse mutually agree on the payments or when the judge looks at all the relevant factors and decides that alimony or spousal support is necessary to support one spouse. Spousal support is generally awarded to a spouse who has been out of work during the marriage or makes a lower income and needs the support of the other husband even after the divorce. The judge could order one spouse to pay the alimony payments in one lump sum if the spouse has the ability to do so or make monthly payments. Alimony payments can also be modified depending on the ability to pay. For example, if one spouse gets a significant raise in income or loses their job and cannot pay, then the spousal support is also modified since it changes the ability to pay.

Requirements for Spousal Support

There are several requirements in order to satisfy for payments to be considered spousal support:
• The payments that are being made must be in cash or checks. Assets and paying off debts is not considered payments for support.
• The payments must be provided for in a divorce or a written agreement

• Payments made prior to divorce or agreement for payments are not considered
• Alimony or spousal support cannot be claimed during the same year joint tax returns were filed
• Alimony payments cannot be paid during the time both spouses live in the same residence
• The payments must stop if one spouse marries or dies
Even if the woman is working and there is a substantial difference between her and her husband’s net worth, she will still be granted alimony to provide for the same living standards as her husband’s. If the woman’s not earning as well, Court will consider the woman’s age, her educational qualifications, ability to earn to decide the amount of the alimony. Alimony does not constitute child support. Maintenance for children’s needs is to be provided separately by the father. However, if the mother is earning, she will also have to provide for the child in proportion to her income. Husband is granted alimony only if he has some physical disability that prevents him from earning and the wife is earning.
How much is paid
Monthly payout: Supreme Court has capped monthly alimony at 25% of husband’s gross salary. It can be raised and lowered as per the changes in husband’s salary.
Lump sum settlement: No benchmark on lump sum settlement. It usually ranges from 1/5th to 1/3rd of the husband’s net worth and is a one-time settlement.
Taxability of alimony
Monthly payout: Alimony in the form of monthly/quarterly payouts is treated as revenue receipt and taxed in the hands of the receiver. It is added to her total income and taxed as per the tax bracket. No deductions available for the payer.
Lump sum settlement: Lump sum alimony is treated as capital receipt and hence is tax-free.
Items that belongs to her.

• All kinds of jewellery (gold, silver, precious/semi-precious stones, and alloy), property and other valuables like car, paintings, artifacts, appliances, furniture etc. gifted to the woman at marriage, before marriage and during the course of her marriage. In case of a dispute, a list of all the items signed by two witnesses can be given to make a claim.
• Gifts can come from anyone husband in-laws, parents, friends, relatives and acquaintances.
• Woman’s earnings before or after marriage from employment or business. Any savings or investments made from her earnings.
Items that does not belong to her.
• Any ornaments, like a gold chain or ring, and other valuables gifted to the husband by the wife’s parents at the time of marriage and through the duration of marriage.
• Any movable or immovable asset bought by the husband in the wife’s name without passing it on as a gift.
• Earnings of the woman spent on household cannot be claimed back.
Taxes and Alimony Records
For now, alimony is tax-deductible for the paying spouse and constitutes taxable income for the supported spouse. This is one of many reasons that it’s important to keep adequate records if you’re paying or receiving alimony. Note that individuals paying alimony will no longer be able to deduct their payments for tax purposes, and supported spouses won’t have to include alimony in their gross income. Frequently after a divorce, the spouses dispute, or the challenges, the amounts that were actually paid or received. Without adequate documentation, the payer may lose the alimony tax deduction or be ordered to pay back support if the other spouse makes a claim in court.
Alimony Payer
The person paying alimony should keep:
• a list showing each payment (date, check number, and address to which the check was sent)
• the originals of checks used for payments (keep in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box) be sure to note on each check the month for which the support is being paid, and
• if you pay in cash, receipts for each payment, signed by the recipient.

Be sure to keep these records for at least three years from the date you file the tax return deducting the payments. Some lawyers and tax advisers say you should never throw away these types of records.

Alimony Recipient

The spouse receiving support should make a list that shows each payment received. Include the following information:
• date payment was received
• amount received
• check number or other identifying information (for example, the number of the money order)
• account number on which any check is written
• name of bank on which check is drawn or money order issued
• a photocopy of the check or money order, and
• a copy of any signed receipt you give for cash payments.

Finally, if you secure an alimony order but your spouse refuses to make the required payments, take immediate legal action to enforce the order through a contempt proceeding or an earnings assignment order. Orders to pay monthly alimony have the same force as any other court order and, if handled properly, can be enforced with the very real possibility of obtaining regular payments. If necessary, a court may jail a reluctant payer to show that it means business.

Factors Affecting Alimony

The determination of alimony varies greatly from state to state. Some state statutes give explicit guidelines to judges on the amount and/or duration of alimony. Alimony is awarded only in cases of marriage or civil union of ten years or longer and the payments are limited to three years unless there are special, extenuating circumstances. Furthermore, the amount of spousal support is limited to the lesser of $2,500 per month or 40% of the payee’s gross income. Spousal support is usually not awarded in marriages of less than 10 years and in some states, alimony awards cannot exceed 121 months. In Utah, the duration of alimony cannot exceed the length of the marriage. In these states, the determination of duration and amount of alimony is left to the discretion of the family court judges who must consider case law in each state.

In general, there are four types of alimony
• Temporary alimony: Support ordered when the parties are separated prior to divorce. Also called alimony pendent lite, which is Latin, meaning, “pending the suit”.

• Rehabilitative alimony: Support given to a lesser-earning spouse for a period of time necessary to acquire work outside the home and become self-sufficient.

• Permanent alimony: Support paid to the lesser-earning spouse until the death of the payer, the death of the recipient, or the remarriage of the recipient.

• Reimbursement alimony: Support given as a reimbursement for expenses incurred by a spouse during the marriage (such as educational expenses).

• Amount and duration

• The longer the length of cohabitation and the greater the disparity between each party’s incomes, the larger an award of spousal support will be and the longer the duration will be. As stated above, spousal support calculations are complex. There are no tables to use as in child support calculations. Lawyers use special software designed specifically to calculate the entitlement, amount, and duration of support. After information is input into a computer, the software will provide a range for the spousal support amount and duration.

• Although there is no set formula to determine the exact amount and duration of spousal support, there are guidelines, referred to as the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, which provides ranges for both. The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines calculates the ranges taking into account the factors set out above. Although the courts are not required to abide by the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, they are required to take them into account when deciding on the issue of spousal support.

• Depending on the means and needs of the individual receiving support, the court will generally award an amount of spousal support somewhere within the range provided by the software. The longer the relationship, the greater the presumption that the parties should have an equal standard of living.

• Similarly, the length of the relationship will be taken into account when determining how long spousal support should be paid for. Awards for spousal support can be for a limited term or indefinite.

The fact you have to pay alimony to your ex-spouse doesn’t amount to a finding that you are a bad person. Consider it part of the cost of entering a marriage that you probably thought would last until death parted you. Alimony has been the law for more than 100 years, and while it is ordered somewhat less frequently these days, there is no sign that courts are going to stop making alimony orders for good.

Utah Alimony Attorney Free Consultation

When you need legal help with an alimony or divorce case in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Remarriage and Alimony in Utah

When a couple divorces in Utah, the court may order the spouse in a better financial position to pay the other spouse “alimony,” or payments of financial support. Often, however, the spouse making payments (the “paying spouse”) will want those alimony payments to end if the other spouse (the “supported spouse”) gets remarried or begins living with a new partner.

Remarriage and Alimony in Utah

Overview of Alimony in Utah

Utah law defines alimony as payments made by one spouse to the other after divorce, to help one spouse meet his or her reasonable needs. Courts won’t order alimony in every divorce, but are more likely to do so when the couple has been married for a substantial amount of time, and one spouse has much greater earning ability than the other spouse.

The most common type of alimony is periodic alimony, meaning the paying spouse makes payments on a regular basis (usually monthly), for a set period of time or until a certain event occurs. Alimony can also be in the form of a lump sum payment, or a transfer of a specific piece of property from one spouse to the other.

Impact of Remarriage on Alimony In Utah

Unlike in many other states, alimony in Utah does not automatically end when the supported spouse remarries. When a supported spouse remarries and the paying spouse wants to end alimony, the paying spouse needs a court order terminating alimony before he or she can stop making payments. The couple can either agree to terminate alimony and file a signed agreement with the court, or the paying spouse can file a motion asking the court to end alimony.

If a divorcing couple wants alimony to end automatically when the supported spouse remarries, they need to specifically state that in their divorce agreement. Most Utah divorce agreements that provide for alimony now include a provision that ends alimony when the supported spouse remarries.

When the court decides the terms of a divorce at trial, the judge has the power to order that alimony will not terminate if the supported spouse remarries or cohabits with another person. This typically happens only in extreme circumstances. For example, if a husband and wife have been married 30 years, and the wife never worked during the entire marriage, the court may decide that she deserves to receive alimony even if she remarries.

Termination or Modification of Alimony in Utah

If a paying spouse wants to end alimony payments to a remarried supported spouse who won’t agree to the termination, the paying spouse should file a motion to terminate alimony immediately. When a supported spouse remarries, the court will presume that he or she is giving up the right to receive alimony unless the supported spouse can prove otherwise. Except in very rare cases, the court will terminate the paying spouse’s obligation to make alimony payments.

Unless a couple’s divorce agreement states otherwise, the court has the power to modify or terminate periodic alimony if there is a substantial change in financial circumstance of either the paying spouse or the supported spouse. For example, if the supported spouse begins making much more money, or the paying spouse’s income decreases significantly, the court may modify or terminate alimony.

The court can change alimony as of the date either spouse files a motion to modify or terminate alimony. The court can’t, however, change alimony retroactively. In other words, a spouse must still pay whatever amounts are owed at the time he or she files a motion to modify alimony.

Impact of Cohabitation on Alimony in Utah

If the supported spouse’s financial needs decrease because he or she begins living with another person, the court can choose to reduce or eliminate alimony. If you are paying alimony and discover that your ex-spouse’s financial needs are lower due to his or her cohabitation with another person, you will probably want to file a motion to modify or terminate alimony.

In order to end or lower alimony, you’ll need to show that your ex-spouse’s financial needs have decreased as a result of his or her cohabitation with another person. The court will require the supported spouse to detail the new living partner’s contributions to the household expenses.

If a divorcing couple wants alimony to automatically end when the supported spouse begins cohabiting with another person, they can say so specifically in their divorce agreement.

Free Consultation with an Alimony Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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