This Guide discusses the factors relevant to alimony in Utah.
FACTORS IN DETERMINING SPOUSAL SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS
Most people do not understand how courts determine the spousal support obligations. The court can take many factors into account in its determination but most decisions are based on factors like the following:
The length of the marriage.
The need of one spouse and the ability of the other to pay.
Whether one spouse helped the other to reach career goals or education.
The need to maintain the same standard of living that existed at the time of the separation, especially if there are children involved.
The divorcing parties may also make their own agreement as to the amount or even waive spousal support based upon their own negotiations and the court will uphold their wishes.
The will also look towards the property settlement of the divorce before moving to the alimony factors above. Property division is done first; if the property awarded from the marital estate is sufficient to take care of a party's needs than there is no reason for alimony because the party's needs are taken care of.
This is true in alimony modification cases as well. Although, the law requires the court to consider all assets of the parties to determine their ability to pay, the court is also required to look at the payee's assets regardless of where those assets came from.
For example, lets say that the wife's parents died during the divorce and the wife put all those assets into a portfolio excluding the spouse as a owner. Even though these assets would not be considered marital property they would still be considered in the alimony equation.
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