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Alimony/Spousal Support

Orem Spousal Support Lawyers Fight for Fair Alimony Awards

Concerned attorneys protect your financial rights during divorce

The divorce process is not so much about what happened in the past, but what you can do now to provide for a secure future. Disputes over alimony, or spousal support, make this abundantly clear. An improper award of alimony, either too much or too little, can unjustly enrich one spouse at the expense of the other. At Skabelund Wirig & Loos, our divorce attorneys are determined to see you reach an appropriate result on the alimony issue, either through a negotiated settlement or by litigating the issue in court.

How courts decide alimony in Utah

In Utah, either spouse can request support of the other. Alimony cannot last longer than the marriage did, and that support terminates automatically upon the death of either spouse or the remarriage of the recipient. The recipient’s cohabitation is also grounds for termination, but the supporting ex-spouse must go to court to get a termination order.

When deciding whether and how much alimony to award, the court takes into account any factor it considers relevant, including:

  • The financial needs of the would-be recipient, including the monthly debts and obligations, and the recipient’s ability to pay these debts
  • The recipient’s earning capacity, including prior work history, marketable skills, and income from all sources, including passive income
  • This also includes the impact of diminished workplace experience resulting from primarily caring for a child of the paying spouse
  • The ability of the paying spouse to provide support
  • The length of the marriage: the longer the marriage, the stronger the case for alimony
  • The would-be recipient’s role as primary custodial parent for minor children
  • Whether the would-be recipient contributed to the other spouse’s earning potential by paying for education or providing the opportunity to attend school during the marriage
  • Marital misconduct of either party that contributed to the breakup of the marriage, such as adultery, causing physical or emotional harm to the other spouse or their children, or substantially undermining the financial stability of the family

The point of alimony is to prevent an unfair disparity in standard of living after the marriage ends.

Modification and enforcement of spousal support orders in Utah

The supporting ex-spouse can petition for a modification of alimony if there is a substantial change in financial circumstances. This generally means a financial setback for the payer and a windfall for the recipient. However, a supporting party cannot voluntarily earn less income simply to escape alimony obligations.

Recipients have a hard time getting increases in payments through a modification. The court will not consider the recipient’s personal circumstances unless they existed at the time of the divorce decree or there is a special reason for consideration. If, however, the recipient can prove the supporting ex-spouse committed fraud at the time of the decree, the court may grant a hearing.

This is an area where our experienced Orem family lawyers can help, by asking the court to include contingencies into the original alimony order. For example, if one of the spouses has a latent health problem that could conceivably worsen, affecting their earning ability, the court should know about it.

When a supporting ex-spouse does not meet his or her alimony obligations, the recipient can go to court to have the order enforced. The courts have many tools at their disposal, ranging from wage garnishment to incarceration, to compel payment.

Contact our highly professional family lawyers for alimony disputes in Orem, UT

When you are facing divorce, the court’s alimony order is one of the major factors impacting your financial security. At Skabelund Wirig & Loos, our divorce lawyers pay meticulous attention to every detail of your case so you can get the most favorable terms possible. To speak with a knowledgeable alimony attorney, call 801-788-4447 or contact our Orem office online to schedule a free consultation.

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  • Orem Office
    1149 West Center Street
    Orem, Utah 84057
    Phone: 801-222-9700
    Fax: 801-224-9960