Dedicated Spousal Support Attorney In Salt Lake City, Utah
When a married couple divorces, the court may order spousal support to be paid to one spouse by the other to maintain the lifestyle in which s/he has become accustomed. Spousal support is not child support, and is in no way calculated using the same metrics. Alimony can be agreed upon by both spouses, and can be awarded temporarily or permanently based on the needs of outlined in the spousal support order.
A number of factors are considered when determining the amount and the period of time over which it is paid, or duration, including:
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The duration of the marriage
- The age and physical and emotional health of both spouses
- The financial resources of both spouses
- Where applicable, the time necessary for either spouse to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him or her to find appropriate employment
- The contribution of each spouse to the marriage, including but not limited to services rendered in homemaking, childcare, education, and career building of the other spouse
- The financial condition of each spouse, including any separate estate, earning capacity and the fixed liabilities of each spouse
How Long Does Spousal Support Last In Utah?
When spousal support is awarded to one spouse after a divorce, the other spouse’s obligation to pay ends under three circumstances:
- When their ex-spouse remarries
- When the ex-spouse cohabitates with a romantic partner
- When the ex-spouse passes away
If your ex-spouse is cohabitating with someone with whom s/he is romantically involved, and you can prove it, we can file a petition with the court to end your alimony payments.
When the supported spouse remarries, the alimony ends automatically. The paying spouse can stop making alimony payments on the date the supported spouse gets remarried. There is no need to file a motion or go back to court to terminate the spousal support payments when your ex-spouse remarries.
If the paying spouse owes past due alimony at the time the supported spouse remarries, the paying spouse must still make those payments until the past due amount is paid in full.
Finally, if the paying spouse was ordered to make a lump-sum payment or a transfer or property as alimony, s/he must make that payment or property transfer, even if the other spouse is remarried.
What Are the Major Factors in Salt Lake City, Utah Spousal Support Orders?
A Judge or jury has wide discretion in addressing the issue of alimony. Our Salt Lake City spousal support cases experience is that the two factors the Court focuses on the most are the need of one spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay. The length of the marriage is also an important consideration, especially if one spouse has not worked outside the home for a number of years.
The Utah Family Court may also consider the fault of the parties when divorcing to determine whether to award alimony and under what terms.
The fault of either party is very specific and refers to injurious behavior or conduct during the marriage that substantially contributed to the divorce.
Possible faults can include:
- Engaging in sexual relations with someone who is not their spouse
- Causing physical harm to the spouse or minor children
- Causing the spouse or minor children to fear for life-threatening harm
- Undermining the financial stability of the other spouse or minor children
Whether you are a spouse who may receive alimony or the one who may pay, Salt Lake City spousal support attorney will provide you with practical advice and realistic expectations to help you plan accordingly.
At Smoak Law, P.C., our family law firm in Salt Lake City, Utah focuses on the following practice areas:
- Child Support Modification
- Criminal Law
- Custody Parenting Arrangements
- Personal Injury
- Prenuptial agreement
Can Salt Lake City Spousal Support Be Modified?
In short, yes. If there are substantial material changes in circumstances that could not be foreseen when the original alimony was awarded, we can petition the court for a spousal support modification.
The court may not, however, modify alimony to address the needs of the recipient that did not exist at the time the decree was entered.
What If I Was Awarded Alimony, But Am Not Receiving Payments From My Ex-Spouse?
If you were awarded spousal support in Salt Lake City, but have not received payments, we can file a petition with the court to enforce the alimony order. The court overseeing the petition can file a judgment against your ex-spouse to pursue the past due amount until it is paid in full.
If the person who is ordered to pay spousal support continues to avoid making payments, the court can hold him or her in contempt of court, and can even order jail time.
Alimony & Spousal Support Lawyers in Salt Lake City, UT
Once alimony has been awarded in a specific amount for a specific duration of time, it can be modified up or down under limited circumstances. The duration may not be changed. In order to be modified, the party seeking a modification must be able to prove that there has been a substantial change in the income or financial status of either party. Give our Salt Lake City spousal support lawyer at Smoak Law, P.C. a call 801-535-4311 to schedule an appointment to discuss your Alimony or Support options.