The information on this page is from the Utah Courts webpage on alimony. Sometimes referred to as spousal support, alimony is the court-ordered allowance that one party pays to the other party for support while they are separated, in the process of getting divorced, or after they are divorced.
Either the husband or the wife may ask the court for alimony. Alimony may be awarded temporarily while the case is pending or for a longer period after the divorce has been granted.The court may consider the following and other factors when deciding whether to award alimony:
Generally, in determining alimony, the court considers the parties' standard of living at the time of separation. In short marriages with no children, the court may consider the standard of living when the marriage began. Sometimes, the court will try to equalize the parties' standards of living.Alimony may not be ordered for a period longer than the length of the marriage, unless there are special reasons for doing so.
Alimony automatically terminates upon the remarriage or death of the recipient. Alimony also terminates if the recipient cohabits with another person after the order for alimony is issued, but the other spouse cannot just stop paying alimony. They must first prove the cohabitation to the court.A motion to terminate alimony for cohabitation must be filed no later than one year from the day on which the party knew or should have known that the former spouse has cohabited with another person. The party asking the court to terminate alimony does not need to prove that the former spouse was cohabiting on the date they file their motion to terminate alimony.
If there are substantial material changes in circumstances not foreseeable at the time of divorce, either party may petition the court for an order modifying alimony. However, the court may not modify alimony to address needs of the recipient that did not exist at the time the decree was entered, unless there are special reasons for doing so. There are no forms on this website for modifying alimony.Regardless of whether a party's retirement is foreseeable, the party's retirement is a substantial material change in circumstances that is subject to a petition to modify alimony, unless the divorce decree expressly states otherwise.
If the party ordered to pay alimony fails to do so, the recipient may file a motion asking the court to enforce the alimony order. The court may issue a judgment for past due alimony. The court may also find a party in contempt of court and order the party to pay a fine or serve time in jail. For more information see the court's webpage on Motion to Enforce Domestic Order (Order to Show Cause).
Before an alimony order from another state can be enforced or modified it first must be registered in Utah. For more information, see the court's webpage on Registering a Foreign Order.
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