We’ll help you navigate Utah Alimony laws
In Utah spousal support may be paid by one spouse to the other to provide for their financial well-being. The concept of alimony stems from one spouse being economically disadvantaged as a result of the divorce. It is not uncommon for one spouse to forego career opportunities in favor of child rearing. The law allows for alimony to be awarded under certain circumstances.
Understanding Utah Law Related to Alimony
Alimony attempts to eliminate financial disparity between divorcing parties and equalize the standard of living after divorce so that the spouse making a larger share of the household income does not benefit unfairly from a divorce. Notwithstanding the goals of Utah alimony laws, the time period for which alimony payments can be required is limited to the number of years a couple was married. In addition, a spouse’s obligation to pay alimony is terminated after the other spouse’s death, remarriage or unmarried cohabitation.
Dealing with Alimony
Besides child custody, alimony is one of the most difficult issues to address. In many cases, one spouse may feel they do not owe the other spouse anything and they should not pay alimony. The courts have broad latitude and discretion to decide whether and to what extent alimony is awarded. Alimony is not a certainty and is determined on a case-by-case basis. Furthermore, once alimony is awarded, a change in circumstances can necessitate the modification of a prior award.
What is Fault?
One interesting aspect of alimony is when the court finds one party at “fault.” Utah is considered a “no-fault” state, but the court may find one spouse as the reason the marriage ended. The other spouse could be caught off-guard when it comes to the divorce, leaving them in a difficult financial position due to the other spouse. Infidelity is the most obvious issue of fault in a divorce case.
Taxes and Alimony
There are tax consequences for both parties’ when alimony is awarded. The spouse who receives the alimony needs to report it as taxable income and the other spouse receives a tax benefit for paying alimony.
How Long Do I Pay Alimony?
We hear this question all the time as many people feel they are trapped to a monthly or quarterly payment to their former spouse for years on end. Utah law states alimony may not be awarded for a term longer than the marriage. The court does have discretion to award alimony for a shorter term. The court can extend alimony due to extenuating circumstances.
Green Legal Group can provide you with legal assistance for your alimony needs. Contact our law firm in Salt Lake City, Utah to receive a free consultation related to your alimony situation, (801) 405-7827.