How is Utah Alimony Awarded?
A spouse may be entitled to Utah alimony. Utah Code Ann. § 30-3-5(8) states that the court is to consider the following factors in awarding alimony:
- (i) the financial condition and needs of the recipient spouse;
- (ii) the recipient’s earning capacity or ability to produce income;
- (iii) the ability of the payor spouse to provide support;
- (iv) the length of the marriage;
- (v) whether the recipient spouse has custody of minor children requiring support;
- (vi) whether the recipient spouse worked in a business owned or operated by the payor spouse; and
- (vii) whether the recipient spouse directly contributed to any increase in the payor spouse’s skill by paying for education received by the payor spouse or allowing the payor spouse to attend school during the marriage.
The statute goes on to say in subsection 8(h):
Alimony may not be ordered for a duration longer than the number of years that the marriage existed unless, at any time prior to termination of alimony, the court finds extenuating circumstances that justify the payment of alimony for a longer period of time.
A current bill in Utah would allow the court to consider the fault of the parties in determining whether or not alimony should be awarded. http://le.utah.gov/interim/2012/pdf/00002192.pdf
Can Alimony be Terminated?
Utah alimony can be terminated early due to the remarriage or cohabitation of the party receiving alimony. While remarriage is easy to show, cohabitation proves to be more difficult. Cohabitation includes “participation in a relatively permanent sexual relationship akin to that generally existing between husband and wife, and the sharing of the financial obligations surrounding the maintenance of a household” Myers v. Myers, 266 P.3d 806, at 809 (2011). Cohabitation means more than just living together for a brief period of time, must include a sexual relationship and sharing expenses.