The topic of alimony oftentimes comes up during divorce. It is helpful for divorcing spouses to understand at the outset of their divorce when alimony may be awarded during divorce in Utah.
When is alimony awarded?
Alimony can be requested by either spouse and may be awarded on a temporary basis or on a longer-term basis depending on the situation and circumstances. The divorce court considers a handful of factors to determine if alimony will be awarded including:
- The financial condition and needs of the recipient spouse, including the spouse’s monthly debts and obligations and their ability to pay their debts;
- The recipient spouse’s earning capacity and ability to earn an income, including income received from all sources and past employment history which can include a lack of employment history because the spouse remained in the home to care for children;
- The ability of the paying spouse to provide support which includes their income from all sources weighed against their debts and obligations;
- The length of the marriage, keeping in mind a longer marriage better supports an alimony request;
- If the recipient spouse has custody of minor children who require support;
- If the recipient spouse worked at a business owned or operated by the other spouse;
- If the recipient spouse contributed to an increased earning capacity for the paying spouse by paying for their education or allowing them to attend school during the marriage; and
- The respective fault of the spouses in the breakup of the marriage.
These factors are used to determine if alimony will be awarded during divorce. Alimony is an important request during divorce and may be one that the potential recipient spouse is relying on or the potential paying spouse opposes. For that reason, divorcing couples should understand the considerations that are evaluated when alimony has been requested.