The alimony laws governing spousal support in Utah is different from what is obtainable in other states. Read further to grasp the peculiarity of the UT alimony law.
All 50 states in America are alimony states, meaning states that have enacted laws permitting a spouse who cannot work full time or with a lower income to request payments from the other spouse to support themselves after a divorce.
What is Alimony?
Also referred to as “spousal support” or “spousal maintenance” in Beehive State, alimony is the series of payments made by one spouse (the payor spouse) to another (the supported or payee spouse) after the divorce.
Before the alimony payments commence, there has to be a written order or agreement which requires the payor to support the payee with a stipulated amount of money.
This agreement eliminates any disputes in the future about why the payment was made or when it’s not made.
Type of Alimony Laws Practiced in UT
In Utah, alimony payments are typically made once a month, around the beginning of the month. However, if the couple can make better arrangements, the courts and the spouses can work together to create a new scenario.
Apart from temporary alimony, which a judge can order to be paid to the less-earning spouse while the divorce proceedings are ongoing, the following are the types of alimony a court can order in Utah:
Periodic Alimony Payments in UT
Payments are paid at predetermined intervals and in predetermined quantities.
Lump-Sum Payments in Utah
When a divorce decree is finalized, alimony is paid in one lump sum. This is usually a substantial sum of money. Lump-sum alimony payments can cause problems with debt and asset division, as well as have a significant tax impact. Before consenting to this type of arrangement, it is always a good idea to consult with an accountant or tax counselor.
Rehabilitative Spousal Support in UT
These payments are designed to be relatively short-term and will terminate on a certain date or when a specific event occurs, such as the child graduating from high school, getting a job, or reaching full-time school age.
Who Pays Alimony in Utah?
In Utah alimony law, the spouse that makes most of the money will share that income with the other spouse. The idea behind who pays for alimony is to considerably level up the living standard of the dependent spouse to what it was while the marriage was on.
Regarding the sex that pays, alimony in Beehive State is gender-neutral, meaning either spouse can request support from the other. As long as the alimony can be provided to the requesting spouse, then it will most likely be granted.
So a husband can receive alimony from a wife in Utah if the above conditions are met.
How Long Does Spousal Support Last in UT?
In Utah, alimony is rarely ordered for a period longer than the marriage’s duration. There are occasional exceptions, such as where the court deems that there are compelling reasons to award alimony for a longer period of time. (Utah Code Ann. § 30-3-5 (8)(j).)
When either spouse dies or the recipient spouse remarries, alimony is immediately terminated under Utah law. Alimony ceases immediately when the recipient spouse remarries, and the paying spouse is not required to submit an application or return to court for an order ending the alimony award.
About the duration to pay alimony in Utah, on the date that the recipient spouse remarries, the paying spouse can simply discontinue providing monthly alimony payments.
How to Collect Spousal Support Arrears in Utah
When it comes to collecting spousal support in Utah, you have a few choices if your ex-spouse has failed to make alimony payments as ordered by the court. Debts for spousal support are frequently given priority among debtors under US law.
Factors That Influence Alimony in Utah
The average amount payable as spousal support in Utah after divorce is determined by various factors. But the major factor you have to understand is “the standard of living of the marriage.” (Utah Code Ann. § 30-3-5 (8)(e).)
To determine the final amounts for rehabilitative and permanent support in UT, the courts in UT take into consideration the income of the spouses, plus other factors like:
- earning capacity of each spouse.
- the ability of the paying spouse to pay, considering assets, the standard of living, earning capacity, as well as earned and unearned income.
- the extent of contribution the supported spouse gave to the other’s educational pursuit or professional license during the marriage
- how long the marriage lasted
- the needs of each spouse
- the assets and debts of each spouse including separate property
- each party’s tax consequences
- the ability of the supported spouse to gain employment without interfering with their children’s care
- each spouse’s health and age
- each party’s balance of hardships
- whether there is a documented history of domestic violence against the children or either party
- will the dependent spouse be self-supporting within a reasonable period
- any criminal conviction of an abusive spouse
- any other factors which the court wishes to consider
This is the main measure the court uses to determine the amount to be paid in Beehive State. The principle behind the standard of living of the marriage is that after the marriage breakup, both spouses should continue living within the same standard they lived while the marriage lasted.
Marital Misconduct and Alimony in Utah
In addition to the aforementioned criteria, the court may examine a spouse’s responsibility (or marital misconduct) in causing the marriage to end. Adultery, physical violence or threats to the other spouse or children, or undermining the other spouse’s financial security are all examples of “fault” in Utah.
Because the court cannot use alimony to penalize a disobedient spouse, blame is only used in limited circumstances by judges. (Utah Code Ann. § 30-3-5 (8)(b)(c).)
How Alimony is Calculated in UT
There is no specific formula for calculating alimony in Utah, rather the amount to be paid as spousal support in Utah is calculated after considering the above-stated factors. Whichever option is adopted it is reflected in the Alimony Calculator
Importance of Using a Skilled Utah Spousal Support Attorney
If you’re getting a divorce in Utah and need to negotiate or re-negotiate spousal support, you’ve definitely got a lot of questions and want to seek competent legal guidance. Though state Supreme Courts have supported lifetime spousal support, your circumstances may or may not fulfill the requirements. UT courts may judge your case differently based on the merits of you and your previous spouse. There are so many variables to consider.
If you want to get spousal support for the rest of your life or if you want to fight against it in Utah, an expert divorce lawyer can help. Depending on the objective and the desire of the adversary attorney to bargain in good faith, you’ll need attorneys that are both empathetic and strong.
For the convenience of our members, we have an up-to-date directory of UT divorce and spousal support attorneys who can help with a variety of issues. For legal advice and
representation on spousal support that is powerful and well-informed.
FAQ About Utah Alimony Laws
Here are Frequently Asked Questions about spousal support laws in UT:
Can a Husband get Alimony in UT?
Yes. In Utah, alimony payment is gender-neutral, meaning the sex that pays or receives is not the main determinant, but other factors as stated above. For details click here.
Who Qualifies for Alimony in Utah?
Just as either spouse can pay or receive, the party that qualifies to receive spousal support is the dependent party while the marriage lasted. This means that in UT, the spouse that had lesser or no income when the marriage was on is also the one qualified to receive alimony. Click here for details
How Long do you have to be Married to get Alimony in UT?
To understand how long alimony lasts in Utah, you have to take into consideration how long the marriage lasted.
However, bear in mind that there is no limit to the duration you can pay or receive alimony for marriages that lasted 10-20 years or more. Any marriage that lasted below 20 years will not pay nor receive alimony that exceeds 50% of the duration of the marriage.
Is Alimony Tax Deductible in Utah?
Following the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which altered the link between alimony and taxes dramatically in Utah and all over the US, alimony payments are no longer tax deductible for the payer and are no longer recognized as income for the recipient spouse as of January 1, 2019.
Is Alimony Mandatory in Beehive State?
Alimony is mandatory in Utah as long as one of the spouses earns or owns assets that can be relied upon to support the other spouse after the marriage breaks down.
Can Alimony be increased in Utah?
Alimony amount or duration can be increased or decreased due to changes in the financial circumstances of the parties in different ways, including:
- an increase or decrease in the income of the alimony recipient
- if it’s determined that the original alimony awarded is inadequate
- loss to the alimony recipient’s financial assets
- an increase in the justified expenses of the alimony recipient
- when the financial condition of the receiving spouse fails to improve as originally expected
Can you go to Jail for Not Paying Spousal Support in UT?
Technically, you will not be jailed for not paying alimony in Utah. While there are varying consequences for not paying alimony, you can still end up in jail as a result. Here is how.
If it’s a Utah court-ordered spousal support that you refuse to pay, it means you are in violation of a court order meaning you can be prosecuted for being in contempt of court if contempt proceedings are brought up against you. This could attract a jail term in UT}.
How to Modify Alimony in Utah
When necessary, Utah law allows for a spousal support modification. When it comes to alimony, courts in UT usually try to do their best to create judgments that are fair and
effective in the long run. Nevertheless, conditions change over time, and these changes may compel a revision or modification of the initial order.
When filing for a spousal support modification in Utah, keep in mind that the courts will only entertain the motion if there has been a significant and long-term change in circumstances. A brief problem is unlikely to be significant enough to warrant a revision in the initial alimony ruling. Likewise, dissatisfaction with the support order is not a valid reason for a revision in UT.
The following are some of the most common reasons for requesting an alimony modification in Utah:
- Changes in income or employment
- Birth of a new child
- Health changes, including disability
- A new dependent
(Utah Code Ann. § 30-3-5 (8)(i).)
How to Avoid or End Spousal Support in UT
In Beehive State, the spouse paying the alimony can successfully avoid or stop the alimony payment if he/she is able to prove any or all of the following points:
- the set end fate in the order
- the recipient spouse remarries
- the recipient spouse dies
(Utah Code Ann. § 30-3-5 (9).)
- Alimony can also be terminated by cohabitation, but only if the paying spouse reports it to the court and asks that it be stopped within a year of the cohabitation discovery. (Utah Code Ann. § 30-3-5 (10).)
Alimony Laws in all 50 States
A Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas
C California | Colorado | Connecticut
D-H Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii
I Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa
K-L Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana
M Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana
N Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota
O Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon
P-S Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota
T-U Tennessee | Texas | Utah
V-W Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming