It can become very difficult to support yourself after a divorce. Many of our clients are anxious and worried about how they will support themselves without the income of their former spouse. It can also be overwhelming maintaining expenses for two households on one income. If you were a stay-at-home parent for an extended period and have no earning potential, you are more likely to get alimony, or spousal support, than if you have a full-time job earning a good salary. The goal of the Utah courts is to ensure that the spouse earning lower income doesn’t fall into poverty because he or she is unable to earn a living or maintain a standard of living consistent with what they had during the marriage.
Under Utah law, alimony can last up to as long as you were married. This means that if you were married for 20 years, you may be entitled to payments from your former spouse for up to 20 years, leading to a significant boost in your financial security. If you owned and subsequently keep your home in your divorce, alimony may allow you to remain in the house and continue making mortgage payments.
When determining alimony, Courts often look at the following factors: The length of the marriage, if there were children or dependents, both spouses earning capacity, if one spouse was “at fault” for the marriage ending, and how much the spouse receiving alimony needs to maintain a standard of living that existed during the marriage.
Alimony can be granted in different forms, including:
Monthly spousal support to maintain the historical standard of living.
Educational and rehabilitative spousal support - To help the recipient get back on his or her feet and get the training or education needed to start earning a living.
Lump sum spousal support - The amount that would be paid over the assigned length of spousal support, paid once at the time of the divorce.
Permanent spousal support - Awarded only in certain circumstances and terminated if the recipient cohabitates with another or remarries.
The attorneys at Hundley and Harrison understand how important it is for you and your children to make a smooth transition during this difficult time. To sort out these alimony factors, you can talk to our Salt Lake City attorneys and explore your options with a free, no-obligation consultation.