Can Infidelity Affect Alimony?

Can Infidelity Affect Alimony

Infidelity is only 1 factor that the court may look at when it comes to alimony awards. It is not the only factor. There are other factors the court will consider.

Infidelity as a violation according to the subjective feeling that one’s partner has violated a set of rules or relationship norms; this violation results in feelings of anger, jealousy, sexual jealousy, and rivalry. What constitutes an act of infidelity depends upon the exclusivity expectations within the relationship. In marital relationships, exclusivity expectations are commonly assumed, although they are not always met. When they are not met, research has found that psychological damage can occur, including feelings of rage and betrayal, lowering of sexual and personal confidence, and damage to self-image. Depending on the context, men and women can experience social consequences if their act of infidelity becomes public. The form and extent of these consequences are often dependent on the gender of the unfaithful person. One measure of infidelity among couples is the frequency of children secretly conceived with a different partner, leading to non-paternities. Such covertly illegitimate children amount to about 1–2% of newborns in studied populations.

Why Infidelity Happens

The term cheating is one that elicits cringes of fear, gasps of horror. Most likely you imagine that a partner in a committed relationship had sexual intercourse with someone outside of their relationship. But cheating can look like many things to many people. To some it may indeed refer to sexual intercourse only. To others it could be anything from an emotional attachment to another, fantasies of other partners, a kiss. Rather than use the term cheating here, something that makes me think more of copying someone else’s answers on a test and less about who you share your body or heart with and when.

Therefore, Infidelity as any action that violates an implicit or explicit agreement between two people thereby is undermining the relationship. The action may be physical or emotional in nature. Dishonesty is often but certainly not always part of an infidelity. To most couples, infidelity signifies a crisis, and they come in flooded with emotion and fairly deregulated. The infidelity sits in the room like another person or an object that was propelled into the scene like a bomb, ravaging lives. Life becomes polarized into before’s and after’s. Some can repair the damage done; turn an infidelity into an opportunity for growth and reconnection. And some can’t, the loss of trust being irreparable for one, the continued anger and blame intolerable for the other. Everything has a price especially in affairs of the heart. Sometimes you pay in dollars. Sometimes you pay in emotional turmoil. Often you pay in both. For better or for worse, alimony, infidelity and divorce are often hopelessly intertwined.

Emotional Price of Adultery

It goes without saying that having an affair can destroy your marriage. While plenty of couples rebound from infidelity, just as many (probably more) don’t. A spouse’s affair is often the death knell for a marriage. Even in those marriages that survive an affair, a spouse’s cheating destroys the trust that formed the foundation for the relationship. While that trust can be rebuilt, most couples don’t have the stomach or the stamina to try to do so. That’s especially true if their marriage was flagging long before the affair took place. But, adultery does more than just devastate your marriage, and your heart. When adultery leads to divorce, it wreaks havoc on your finances too. Fortunately or unfortunately depending upon which side of the affair you’re on marital infidelity doesn’t have nearly as big of an impact on the financial side of divorce as it once did.

Legal Price of Adultery

Historically, adultery is one of the oldest grounds for divorce. In many countries, adultery was punishable by death. Adultery still is punishable by death in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. It is also still a crime in many states in the United States. But, adultery is rarely, if ever, prosecuted any more. In addition to being a crime, adultery may also form the basis for civil lawsuits in many states. Again, however, such cases are rarely pursued today. When they are pursued, they are even more rarely successful. In today’s world, the place where adultery has its biggest effect is in divorce. Yet, even that effect is waning. When divorce was based on “fault,” proving your spouse was unfaithful was often the key to getting a divorce. If both spouses were faithful, the law didn’t allow you to get divorced, no matter how miserable you were. (That is, of course, unless you could prove that your spouse had done something else that warranted divorce like subjecting you to mental or physical cruelty.) But now that “irreconcilable differences” is recognized as a ground for divorce, you no longer have to catch your spouse in the act in order to end your marriage. Yet, adultery still plays a significant role in divorce.

Effect of Adultery on Divorce

With the advent of no-fault, seeking a divorce based upon adultery became less and less common. While scorned spouses still may get emotional satisfaction from filing divorce papers that publicly proclaim that their spouse cheated on them, there is little legal reason to pursue that kind of claim. Infidelity generally has no impact on custody, child support, or parenting time at all. The only time a spouse’s affair will affect the kid issues in divorce is when the affair itself directly affected the kids.

Dissipation Of Marital Assets

Dissipation is a legal concept that means that one spouse spent marital money for a non-marital purpose. Translated, that means that one spouse spent money on his/her affair partner. While going after your spouse for all the money she/he spent on someone else sounds totally fair, in practice, proving dissipation can be tedious and expensive. Even when your state provides that, once you allege dissipation, your spouse must prove that he didn’t dissipate marital assets. Dissipation is still a tricky legal issue. It often requires you to spend days scouring credit card bills and sifting through boxes of old receipts. Of course, if your spouse has been living a double life for years, the dissipation in your divorce can be significant. The same thing is true if your spouse started living with his/her “sweetie” long ago. In those kinds of cases, proving dissipation can be well worth the effort.

Alimony, Infidelity and Divorce

The one aspect of divorce in which your spouse’s infidelity can still have a sizeable impact is in the area of spousal support. Even still, the impact that it has is still way less than what it had in the past. In a little less than half of the states, your spouse’s misconduct (i.e. adultery) has no impact on alimony whatsoever. It doesn’t affect whether your spouse has to pay alimony, how much s/he has to pay, or how long s/he has to pay it. In a very small number of states, your spouse’s adultery has a huge impact on alimony. Most states, however, consider adultery only as one factor in the decision of whether to award alimony. The laws in several of those states specifically state that alimony cannot be used to punish an adulterous spouse. The adultery is simply one of many factors a court may or may not decide to consider when deciding whether to award alimony.

Adultery as Legal Ground for Divorce

In Utah, divorcing spouses may seek a “no-fault” divorce or a “fault” divorce. In a “no-fault” divorce, the filing spouse only needs to show that the marriage has been “irretrievably broken” for at least six months. This basically means that the couple can’t get along anymore and are unable to remain married because of their differences.
For a “fault divorce,” the filing spouse must show one of the following:
• cruel and inhuman treatment (such as physical or mental abuse)
• abandonment for at least one year
• incarceration for at least three consecutive years, or
• adultery.
Regarding the ground of adultery, Utah law defines adultery as a married person having sexual intercourse with a person who is not his or her spouse. If you’re seeking a divorce based on adultery, you must be prepared for a higher-conflict divorce case. The law requires that you provide evidence of the adultery from a third-party, such as a private investigator. Higher conflict divorce cases often cause more emotional harm on the parties, especially when children are involved. As a result, no-fault divorce is a good alternative, even when there has been adultery. During the divorce process, one spouse may ask the judge to award financial payments to help support that spouse during and/or after the divorce. The parties may agree on the amount to be paid, or the couple may have a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement that sets out alimony payments. If there is no agreement between the parties, the judge will look at many different factors and decide if there should be an award and the amount of the payment. These payments may be called “alimony,” “maintenance,” or “spousal support.”
In making a decision about alimony, the court will look at the following factors:
• income and property of both spouses
• length of the marriage, including any time the couple lived together before and after the marriage
• age and health of both spouses
• present and future earning ability of each spouse, including reduced ability of one spouse due to delaying of education or career opportunities, and inability to earn due to age or absence from workforce
• need for one spouse to gain education or training, and how long this might take
• acts that prevent a spouse’s ability to gain employment or increase earning ability (for example, mental or physical abuse)
• where children from the marriage live
• any need to care for family members other than children
• any need to pay for exceptional expenses, such as schooling and medical care for children
• tax consequences to each spouse resulting from paying or receiving alimony
• what property was awarded during equitable distribution
• loss of health insurance due to the divorce
• contributions and services by the spouse seeking alimony, such as homemaker contributions, and
• any wasteful dissipation use of marital property by either spouse, or unfair transfer or hiding of assets.
When the judge looks at these factors, there is no fixed formula used to make the decision. Both parties will present evidence to the judge in support of their case, and the judge will make the decision based on an assessment of the entire set of circumstances.

Causes and Risks of Why Married People Cheat

There are many reasons why married people cheat. Upwards of 40% of married couples are impacted by infidelity, and despite the high percentage, most people even those who stray will say that cheating is wrong. Risk factors such as personality disorders and childhood issues, as well as opportunities such as social media and poor boundaries, can increase the chance that one of these reasons will actually lead to some type of affair. Frustration in the marriage is one common trigger; the cheater may make several attempts to solve problems to no avail. Maybe they had second thoughts about getting married or they were jealous over the attention is given to a new baby and neither had the skill set to communicate these feelings. Perhaps the straying spouse has childhood baggage neglect, abuse, or a parent who cheated that interferes with his or her ability to maintain a committed relationship. Less often, the cheater doesn’t value monogamy, lacks empathy, or simply doesn’t care about the consequences.

Motivations Differ by Sex

Men are more likely to have affairs than women and are often seeking more sex or attention. Men express their love in a more physical way they often don’t have the perfect feeling words for their wives. So sex becomes an important path to connection and intimacy. If men aren’t sexually satisfied (for instance, if their spouse declines sex often), they take that rejection to heart, and it can easily translate to feeling “unloved.” In fact, men are more likely than women to cheat due to a feeling of insecurity. When women cheat, they’re often trying to fill an emotional void. Women frequently complain of disconnection from a spouse, and of the wish to be desired and cherished. Women are more likely to feel unappreciated or ignored, and seek the emotional intimacy of an extramarital relationship. An affair is more often a “transitional” partner for the woman as a way to end the relationship. She is seriously looking to leave to her marriage and this other person helps her do just that. That’s not to say that sexual satisfaction isn’t a primary driver of affairs for wives as well as husbands. In one study of men and women who were actively pursuing or involved in extramarital affairs, both genders said they were hoping to improve their sex lives because they felt their primary relationship was lacking between the sheets. Similarly, boredom with the marital relationship may lead both men and women to cheat.

Causes and Risk Factors

There’s a myriad of reasons or causes why men or women may engage in an extramarital liaison, but certain risk factors either with one of the individuals or the marriage as a whole increasing the odds it will happen.

Risk Factors With an Individual

The general rule is that it takes two, or in this case, to mess up their marriage with an affair, but there are certainly exceptions. Individual factors that may increase the chance of infidelity include:
• Addiction: Substance abuse issues, whether it’s addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling, or something else, are clear risk factors. Alcohol, in particular, can reduce inhibitions so that a person, who wouldn’t consider having an affair when sober, may cross the line.
• Previous Cheating: The saying “once a cheater, always a cheater” is more than an old wives’ tale. Those who were involved in an extramarital sexual relationship were three times more likely to become involved in extramarital relationships in their next relationship.
• Personality Disorders and Psychological Issues: People who have strong narcissistic traits or personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder or antisocial personality disorder are more likely to cheat. With narcissism, an affair may be driven by ego and a sense of entitlement. In addition to being self-centered, people with these disorders often lack empathy, so they don’t appreciate the impact of their actions on their spouse. The particular psychological issues or personality traits that raise the risk of adultery in marriage may differ between the sexes.
• Mental Illness: Some mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder are a risk factor for cheating in marriage.
• Childhood Issues: Having a history of childhood trauma (such as physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or neglect) is associated with a higher chance that a person will cheat (if he or she has not addressed the trauma and has unresolved issues).
• Sex Addiction: Certainly, sex addiction in one partner increases the chance that they will be unsatisfied with the physical aspect of their marriage and look elsewhere.
Risk Factors with the Relationship
Problems in the marital relationship can also be a risk factor for cheating. Some of these include:
• Lack of communication
• Emotional and/or physical disconnect
• Low compatibility (people who married for the wrong reasons): Low compatibility can lead to a sense of “buyer’s remorse”
• Domestic violence and emotional abuse
• Financial pressures
• Lack of respect

Alimony Divorce Attorney In Utah Free Consultation

When you need legal help with a divorce case in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC (801) 676-5506 For Your Free Consultation. 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

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How Alimony Is Calculated

How Alimony Is Calculated

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.

Types of Alimony

Years ago, alimony was traditionally permanent, or paid on an ongoing basis until a person died or remarried. Today, judges usually award other types of alimony. Lump sum alimony is a one-time payment. Temporary alimony is a periodic payment that lasts only a set period of time. Rehabilitative alimony is given to a spouse who is young and able to become self-supporting. Most people assume that only women receive alimony, because traditionally men were the sole breadwinners. In fact, both men and women are entitled to spousal support. These days, however, alimony (whether paid to wives or husbands) is less common than it was several decades ago. Typically, the court will award alimony payments after distributing the marital property between the spouses. That way, the judge knows the income and other assets of the spouses, as well as the debt obligations that each must carry, and can make an alimony award that’s appropriate to the circumstances.

Income Equalization Approach

The court does not have to use a set formula plugging in the spouses’ incomes and child-support obligation, among other elements to come up with a payment amount. It can, however, order alimony based on an income equalization calculation where both spouse earns enough to be self-supporting and also cover the other spouse’s needs.

Duration and Termination of Payments

In Utah, alimony payments usually last only as long as the number of years the marriage existed. The court could order them for a shorter or longer time, however, if the right circumstances exist. Also, payments automatically terminate when the recipient spouse remarries or when either spouse dies. Where the recipient spouse doesn’t remarry but moves in with a new partner, the payer spouse can ask the court to terminate alimony obligations. On the other hand, if the payer spouse remarries, there are some situations where the court could change the amount of alimony due based on the income of the payer’s subsequent spouse. For example, if a husband worked as a contractor and has an affair with an orthopedist that affects his marriage, the court could first order husband to pay his wife, a homemaker, alimony based on his resources as a contractor. Later, if he marries the orthopedist, the court could increase his payments to his first wife based on the second wife’s income because the orthopedist can contribute more to his household expenses and because there was an element of improper conduct (e.g. an affair).

In comparison to child custody cases in which judges must decide which parent a child is going to live with deciding on an alimony amount is a piece of cake. Every state has a law dictating what factors must be considered in setting alimony. Basically, in setting the amount of alimony to be paid, courts look at:
• how much money each person could reasonably earn every month
• what the reasonable expenses are going to be for each of them, and
• whether an alimony award from one to the other would make it possible for each to go forward with a lifestyle somewhat close to what the couple had before they split known in divorce law as the standard of living established during the marriage.
As is frequently the case, if there isn’t enough money to make it possible for the parties to reestablish something close to their marital standard of living, then most judges will look for a way to make the divorcing parties share the financial pain equally. In many states, the law specifies that in setting alimony, the judge should consider how much support it would take each party to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage. This can raise questions about how a court should set and evaluate a particular standard within the standard of living.”

Underemployed Spouse

As noted, alimony is generally based largely on what each of the divorcing spouses reasonably earn. That means that if a person is deliberately working at a job that pays less than what he or she could earn, the courts will sometimes figure the alimony amount based on a higher figure, in what is referred to as imputing income for support. When facts such as these occur, the person who has changed jobs will usually be expected to present evidence on why personal factors such as stress made the change necessary. Sometimes a psychologist is called as a witness to back up the need for the change. The person opposing a reduction in support may succeed by showing that the lifestyles of those who are being supported will be severely affected by the loss of substantial alimony payments. Court decisions in this area will often depend on the precise wording of the state law on alimony and the court’s appraisal of the good faith of the supporting spouse. The Alimony Laws are rapidly changing it seems each year. The courts, as a general rule, look at the standard of living that existed at the time of separation in determining alimony. In marriages of short duration, with no children conceived or born, the court may consider the standard of living that existed at the time of the marriage. There are times when the courts will attempt to equalize the parties’ respective standards of living. Alimony terminates automatically upon remarriage or cohabitation by the recipient spouse. Alimony is not to be ordered for duration longer than the length of the marriage, except in extenuating circumstances.

Modification of Alimony

Alimony may be reviewed and modified as conditions change and as warranted. If there has been a substantial and material change in your financial situation such as losing a job or taking a serious pay cut, you can petition the court to modify a spousal support order. The attorneys are experienced in handling these types of modification petitions and will provide you with effective representation As if the emotional toll of divorce weren’t enough, the financial aspect can be devastating. A crucial task your divorce lawyer must help you tackle from the get go is to separate the emotional aspect of the case from the financial one. Let’s examine this separation in the context of alimony. No one relishes the idea of paying their “ex” alimony. No matter how justified your emotions may be, being naïve or ignorant about how law and judges deal with alimony can leave you vulnerable. If you have been the primary breadwinner in your marriage, and your marriage lasted more than a few years, you will likely be paying alimony. This is because under the law, alimony is neither a punishment nor a reward-it is an equalizer. It either equalizes the parties’ standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, or it equalizes the financial hardship that both parties will suffer post-divorce. One common misconception is to think that a judge will not order someone to pay alimony in an amount beyond their ability to pay. Of course, the alimony calculus does not always play out this simply. Other factors and legal principles may come into play, and your divorce lawyer should know how to use them and when. In the state of Utah, during or following a divorce or legal separation, the court will consider whether either spouse is in need of alimony.

Utah has a defined list of factors, described in statutory law, that are legally required to be considered by a judge when determining alimony payments. These factors may be directly connected to the alimony calculation formula. Utah considers marital fault when determining alimony payments. This means that “at-fault” divorces, which may be caused by infidelity / adultery, abuse, etc, can result in the at-fault party paying more “punitive” alimony.
Standard of living is considered when calculating alimony payments in the state of Utah. This means that a judge will consider the lifestyle enjoyed by the alimony-receiving spouse during the duration of the marriage when determining an appropriate alimony payment amount. The judge in the state of Utah considers custodial status when determining alimony payments. This means that alimony calculations are affected by whether or not the receiving spouse has custody of the children, and custodial spouses may receive higher alimony payments. Calculation of alimony is generally done on a case-by-case basis by the Utah family court judge who is responsible for the case. While some states have a fixed alimony calculation formula, in most cases the final amount and duration of alimony awarded (if alimony is awarded) is at the discretion of the judge. Often the standard of living experienced by both parties at the time separation occurred will be the benchmark in an alimony calculation. The court can also consider the standard of living that existed at the beginning of the marriage, if the marriage period was relatively short, and there are no children involved.

Certain behaviors that contributed to the end of the marriage may also factor into the consideration of an alimony award amount. The faulty behaviors may include:
• Having an extramarital affair
• Purposely intimidating a spouse or minor children
• Purposely causing physical harm to a spouse or minor children
• Financial Resources
The court can consider any substantial changes in the amount of financial resources after the two parties separated, such as the loss or gaining of employment. The court can also consider the earning potential of both the payer and the recipient.

Alimony Lawyer in Utah Free Consultation

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

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
itemprop=”addressLocality”>West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Types of Alimony in Utah

Types of Alimony in Utah

When a couple divorces, they are occasionally on uneven ground financially. This may be due to their unequal earning potential or because one has foregone their career aspirations to care for the couple’s children. Under some circumstances, one of the spouses may be required to support the other one financially. This support can be temporary in nature, long-term or even permanent.

Under Utah law, a spouse may seek spousal support to address any number of situations. For some, the need for support is temporary in nature and should last only a few months. For others, however, alimony is required in the long term due to inability to financially provide for his or herself in a manner to which the spouse is accustomed.

Temporary maintenance is sometimes ordered to be paid for a spouse who needs support while the divorce is being finalized. Generally this support is meant to be for only a few months and the obligation terminates once the divorce is final. Once this happens, a judge may decide if the support should continue and may then order the other to pay permanent alimony.

Permanent alimony, on the other hand, is designed to continue, usually on a monthly basis, without stopping unless and until the supported spouse gets remarried. To decide if permanent alimony is warranted, a judge will look at a number of factors. These factors may include the length of marriage, the spouses’ ages, each of their present and future earning potential and the contributions each spouse made during the course of the marriage. Not every judge will order alimony, but the longer a couple is married, the more likely a judge is to order alimony payments.

How Does Infidelity Affect Divorce?

For many couples, infidelity is an unforgivable act of betrayal. It can negatively affect a marriage to the point where divorce is the only option. Each year, a large number of couples end their marriage because one person is unfaithful.

Utah State recently adopted a no-fault divorce law. As a result, Utahers who wish to end their marriage for any reason, including infidelity, may cite that their marriage as irretrievably broken down.

While you may be angry with your spouse for cheating, the court system has no interest in why your marriage failed. Divorce is not a criminal proceeding. As a result, the courts do not punish spouses for being unfaithful.

If your spouse cheats on you, do you get the house? Does cheating affect equitable distribution? You may be surprised to know that equitable distribution is not affected by infidelity. Cheating can devastate an entire family, emotionally harm your children, and end your marriage, but the court is only concerned with obtaining a fair resolution to your marital dissolution. The court views marriage as an economic partnership. As a result, it divides the assets of a marriage equally between each partner.

The only time infidelity can affect equitable distribution, and as a result a divorce proceeding, is if the cheating spouse diverted funds from the marriage to further his or her extra-marital relationship. The court may require the return of the funds used outside the marriage. A skilled and aggressive attorney can fight to determine the amount of those funds and help you retrieve them.

Free Consultation with Divorce 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

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Understanding Alimony

All spouses have an obligation to deal with each other in some form or fashion, and that obligation carries on even after divorce when one spouse needs financial help from the other, as support installments.  In Utah, sometimes you can escape alimony – but if you’ve been married for over 7 years, and one of the parties has been a “stay at home” mom or dad – there is a chance you may have to pay alimony.

Types of Alimony

In Utah, alimony is referred to in three different ways: as alimony, spousal support, and maintenance. Temporary maintenance is an order that one spouse must financially support the other while the divorce is being finalized. Once the divorce is finalized, the temporary maintenance stops and the judge decides whether permanent alimony is appropriate. A spouse could receive temporary maintenance but no permanent order once the divorce is finalized, or could receive no temporary maintenance during the divorce but later receive a permanent order. Judges decide whether or not to order spousal support based on individual circumstances of each case.

How Alimony Works

To decide whether spousal support is appropriate, the judge will look at the needs of the spouse asking for support and whether the other spouse has the financial ability to provide financial help. For example, if your income is lower than your spouse’s but you are able to support yourself, you may not be entitled to alimony. The court will also look at other factors when making a decision about support:

  • the length of the marriage
  • each spouse’s age and health status
  • each spouse’s present and future earning capacity
  • the need of one spouse to incur education or training expenses
  • whether the spouse seeking maintenance is able to become self-supporting
  • whether caring for children inhibited one spouse’s earning capacity
  • equitable distribution of marital property, and
  • the contributions that one spouse has made as a homemaker in order to help enhance the other spouse’s earning capacity.

The court will also look to see whether the acts of one spouse have inhibited or continue to inhibit the other spouse’s earning capacity or ability to obtain employment. The most common example of this would be domestic violence. If one spouse’s abuse of the other affected that abused spouse’s ability to maintain or to get a job, the court might consider those actions in making its order.

Understanding Alimony

Length of Alimony

Impermanent upkeep orders end when a last judgment for divorce is entered. Regardless of whether you’ve been accepting provision while your divorce was in process, you will just keep getting installments if the judge makes a changeless request for it. Permanent alimony ends either on a date specified in the order, at the death of either spouse, or when the spouse receiving alimony remarries

Either of the spouses can ask the judge to modify the permanent order if there is a substantial change in circumstances. For example, if the spouse receiving support gets a better paying job, the court may reduce the payment amount or even terminate the payments.

The state of Utah provides an online guideline calculator for temporary spousal support. The calculator only looks at each spouse’s income and does not take into consideration any of the factors listed above, so you’ll get an estimate but not necessarily the exact amount the judge would order.

Alimony is tax deductible to the paying spouse and must be reported as income by the receiving spouse.

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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How Much Alimony?

how much alimony

Whеn уоu gо through a divorce оnе of the thingѕ you’ll hаvе tо dеаl with iѕ аlimоnу аnd knоwing how much tо рау. Thiѕ саn bе a ѕtrеѕѕful timе fоr the huѕbаnd and thе wife but undеrѕtаnd thаt in most саѕеѕ the соurt decides hоw much of оur mоnеу ѕhоuld be раid to the other spouse. We’ve previously written here and here about alimony. Usually they go with a ѕtаndаrd of 25% оf уоur income but rеmеmbеr it can vеrу ѕtаtе to ѕtаtе. It iѕ imроrtаnt thаt if уоu have children уоu make ѕurе thеу fееl соmfоrtаblе with viѕiting thе other parent. Yоu never wаnt to рut thеm in the middle of you and your spouse going through a divorce because it can cause them grief.

It саn be very ѕtrеѕѕful if уоu hаvе recently gоttеn wоrѕе and аrе in thе process оf ѕеttling аll finаnсеѕ. In mоѕt саѕеѕ thе реrѕоn whо mаkеѕ thе mоѕt money will hаvе tо рау аlimоnу to thе оthеr ѕроuѕе. Of course it dоеѕ dереnd оn which ѕtаtе уоu livе in because ѕоmе ѕtаtеѕ do nоt have alimony they оnlу hаvе сhild support. Hеrе in Utаh, уоu may bе rеԛuirеd tо рау for аlimоnу аnd сhild ѕuрроrt. Usually thе alimony рауmеntѕ оnlу lаѕt until thе оthеr ѕроuѕе gеtѕ rеmаrriеd.

Sоmе state соurt systems аrе оftеn hеѕitаnt to еxtеnd mаritаl ѕuрроrt to a ѕроuѕе in a divоrсе саѕе. Marital support, whiсh iѕ often referred tо аѕ alimony, is only grаntеd to ѕроuѕеѕ whо mееt ѕресifiс rеԛuirеmеntѕ. Onсе еithеr ѕроuѕе has bееn determined tо be ԛuаlifiеd fоr аlimоnу, thе amount of аlimоnу is dереndеnt on a number оf specific fасtоrѕ. Thеѕе fасtоrѕ generally dеаl with thе аbilitу оf thе spouse whо is ѕееking assistance tо рrоvidе fоr themselves.

The mоѕt important fасtоr thаt iѕ соnѕidеrеd bу many judgеѕ in аррliсаtiоnѕ fоr аlimоnу iѕ the finаnсiаl rеѕоurсеѕ of еасh spouse, but раrtiсulаrlу thе ѕроuѕе ѕееking support. Anоthеr related tорiс of consideration iѕ hоw much work or еffоrt hаѕ bееn еxреndеd by the ѕроuѕе to provide fоr their оwn finаnсiаl support. A ѕроuѕе’ѕ аbilitу tо find employment, bаѕеd еithеr оn еduсаtiоn оr skills, is an important соnѕidеrаtiоn. Some courts are lеѕѕ likеlу tо dеmаnd support bе раid to a ѕроuѕе whо hаѕ adequate experience, education, аnd resources to provide fоr themselves.

Othеr imроrtаnt factors dеаl with thе nаturе оf the family аnd the rеаѕоnѕ fоr thе divorce itѕеlf. If a divоrсе hаѕ bееn саuѕеd by marital miѕbеhаviоr bу оnе раrtу towards thе оthеr, there iѕ a сhаnсе thаt thiѕ соuld mаkе аlimоnу mоrе likеlу. Alѕо, thе аbilitу оf a parent tо pay child support tо the сuѕtоdiаl раrеnt is оftеn соnѕidеrеd mоrе crucial thаn ѕроuѕаl ѕuрроrt. If a spouse cannot fully cover bоth, a court will tурiсаllу ensure thаt the сhild iѕ properly саrеd fоr.

Rеmеmbеr it саn bе hаrd going thrоugh a divоrсе so make ѕurе thаt уоu trу tо gеt through it аѕ ԛuiсk as possible. And mоѕt саѕеѕ whоеvеr makes thе most money mау bе required tо рау alimony рауmеntѕ tо the other ѕроuѕе. Usually thiѕ аmоunt iѕ around 25% оf thе grоѕѕ inсоmе оf thаt ѕроuѕе. Thе рауmеntѕ are оnlу required until thаt spouse rесеiving аlimоnу gеtѕ rеmаrriеd.

Free Consultation with Alimony Lawyer in Utah

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

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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