Under Utah law, the court has discretion to grant alimony upon request of either party of a divorce. The court will look at all circumstances in the case, including whether the actions of either party led to the breakdown of the marriage.
Types of Spousal Support
- Temporary – may be awarded upon filing for divorce, lasting until the final decree.
- Short-Term – may be awarded to assist one spouse in adjusting to the changed circumstances resulting from divorce.
- Long-Term or Permanent – may be awarded where the marriage lasted for fourteen years or longer.
Who is Eligible for Alimony in Utah
Either party may request and be granted alimony. Regardless of gender, alimony may be ordered on a temporary basis or pending trial, as well as for a longer period after entry of the divorce decree. The longer the marriage, the more likely spousal support will be awarded.
Utah Alimony Guidelines (Factors for Awarding Alimony)
In determining spousal support, the courts will consider the following factors:
- Financial condition and needs of the recipient spouse, including monthly debts and obligations, and the availability of funds to pay these debts;
- The recipient's earning capacity or ability to produce income;
- The ability of the paying spouse to provide support; and
- Duration of the marriage.
Reasons for Termination or Modification of Alimony in Utah
Alimony may be reviewed and modified if the parties’ conditions change. Alimony terminates automatically upon remarriage or cohabitation by the receiving spouse. The party seeking modification due to change of circumstances must file a petition with the court and provide proof of changed circumstances.
Marital Fault in Utah
The Utah court may consider fault of the parties to determine alimony. The court will look at fault along with other circumstances to come to a fair agreement.
How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Utah?
Alimony may not be ordered for a period that exceeds the length of the marriage, except in unusual circumstances. The court generally will consider the standard of living that existed at separation. In short marriages, the court may consider the standard of living that existed when the marriage began if no children are involved.
Utah Alimony Taxes
A party who pays alimony is allowed to claim the payments as a deduction on federal tax forms. The party receiving alimony is required to claim it as income on federal tax forms. An attorney familiar with divorce law can discuss the tax consequences of your settlement with you.
Find an Alimony Attorney in Utah
A family law attorney can help you navigate the court system, the tax implications, and paperwork. Divorce can be an emotionally demanding time in a person’s life. Having an attorney by your side will make it easier to move through the proceedings with confidence.