Important Changes to Alimony Determination: What You Need to Know


The Utah State Legislature recently made significant changes to how courts determine alimony. Here’s what you need to know about the new factors that the courts will consider when determining alimony:

  1. Standard of Living During the Marriage.

The court will evaluate the standard of living that existed during the marriage, which includes:

  • Income: The court will look at the income of both parties during the marriage.
  • Value of Real and Personal Property: The approximate value of all real and personal property owned by the couple will be considered.
  • Other Relevant Factors: Any other factors deemed appropriate by the court to accurately determine the standard of living during the marriage.
  1. Financial Condition and Needs of the Recipient Spouse.

The recipient spouse can now itemize their expenses as they existed during the marriage rather than post-divorce petition expenses. This allows for a more accurate representation of their financial needs based on the marital lifestyle.

  1. Earning Capacity and Ability to Produce Income.

The court will assess the recipient spouse’s ability to earn income. This includes considering any diminished workplace experience if the recipient primarily cared for a child of the payor spouse.

  1. Ability of the Payor Spouse to Provide Support.

The payor spouse’s ability to provide financial support will be carefully evaluated to ensure they can meet alimony obligations.

  1. Length of the Marriage.

The duration of the marriage will be a crucial factor, with longer marriages typically justifying longer or more substantial alimony support.

  1. Custody of a Minor Child.

If the recipient spouse has custody of a minor child requiring support, this will be a significant consideration in determining alimony.

  1. Contribution to the Payor’s Business.

If the recipient spouse worked in a business owned or operated by the payor spouse, this contribution will be factored into the alimony decision.

  1. Contributions to the Payor’s Skill or Education.

The court will consider if the recipient spouse directly contributed to any increase in the payor spouse’s skills or education. This includes paying for the payor’s education or enabling the payor to attend school during the marriage.

What This Means for You.

These changes aim to ensure that alimony decisions are made with a comprehensive understanding of both parties’ circumstances during the marriage. By considering a wide range of factors, the court can make more equitable decisions that reflect the true financial needs and contributions of each spouse.

If you have any questions about how these changes might affect your situation or need legal advice regarding alimony, please don’t hesitate to contact our Utah family law experts. We are here to help you navigate these new provisions and ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

Contact Us Today! For more information and personalized legal assistance, get in touch with our Utah family law attorney. At Ellsworth Law Firm, we are committed to providing you with the support and guidance you need during this challenging time.