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 divorce lawyers in Salt Lake City, Utah focuses on the following practice areas:
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.
Frequently Asked Questions for Alimony in Salt Lake City
Who is eligible for alimony in Utah?
Either spouse may be eligible for alimony, but it typically goes to the lower-earning spouse. Eligibility for alimony is based on several factors, including the length of the marriage, the earning capacity of each spouse, the age and health of each spouse, and the standard of living established during the marriage.
How is the amount of alimony determined?
The amount of alimony is determined based on the needs of the spouse requesting alimony and the ability of the other spouse to pay.
How long does alimony last?
The duration of alimony depends on the specific circumstances of the case, but it can be awarded for a set period of time or until a specific event occurs, such as the recipient spouse remarrying or achieving financial stability. The length is typically determined by the length of the marriage and the spouse’s earning capacity.
Can alimony be modified?
Yes, alimony can be modified in Utah if there has been a significant change in circumstances for either spouse, such as a change in income or health.
Can alimony be waived?
Yes, spouses can agree to waive alimony in a divorce settlement. However, it is important to note that the court will typically review any agreement to waive alimony to ensure that it is fair and reasonable before approving it.
What happens if the paying spouse fails to make alimony payments in Utah?
If the paying spouse fails to make alimony payments, the recipient spouse can take legal action to enforce the court order. The recipient spouse may file a motion with the court to request that the court order the paying spouse to comply with the alimony order. The court may then issue a wage garnishment or other enforcement action against the paying spouse to ensure that the alimony payments are made.
Can alimony orders be enforced in other states?
Yes, alimony orders can be enforced in other states under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA).
Should I hire a lawyer for an alimony case?
It is recommended that you hire an experienced family law attorney to represent you in an alimony case in Utah, as the process can be complex and emotional, and a lawyer can help protect your rights and interests.