Utah Alimony (Spousal Support)
Unlike child support, there is no set formula to determine when, or if, a party should receive alimony (spousal support) from a divorcing spouse. Rather, in determining alimony the courts will consider the needs of the party requesting alimony, the ability of that party to provide for his or her own needs, and the ability of the other divorcing party to pay alimony. Other factors may be taken into consideration by the court in determining alimony such as, the length of the marriage, the former lifestyle of the parties, living expenses of the parties and other relevant facts from the marriage.
In some cases alimony may be modified after it has been ordered by a court. This may depend on several factors, including how the original alimony agreement/order was drafted and whether there has been a significant change in the circumstances that existed when the alimony agreement/order was originally was put into place.
Often, alimony and other divorce related matters are able to be agreed upon by the parties. However, the agreement must be properly prepared so that it has the effect desired. If an agreement regarding alimony and other issues cannot be reached by the parties on their own, the courts will often require mediation to help the parties reach a resolution. We encourage parties to attend mediation with their attorneys so they fully understand the issues involved and the consequences of their decisions. In the event mediation is unsuccessful, a trial may be needed to secure your rights to alimony and other issues relating to your divorce.
Alimony is often a complex component of divorce and must be handled in light of all other issues related to the dissolution of the marriage. It requires experienced and knowledgeable legal professionals to see all the issues at hand and the interplay between them. At Burton Attorneys at Law we understand alimony and the complexities which surround it. Remember, we handle only family law related legal matters. This focus on family law sets us apart from other attorneys and law firms because we uniquely understand the issues you face in your divorce.
PERSONAL PROPERTY AND REAL PROPERTY DIVISION
-How is property divided?
Utah law recognizes that both spouses contribute to the property acquired during marriage, regardless of the income source. Therefore, under Utah law, property (whether real property or personal property) acquired by the parties during a marriage is deemed “marital property” and divided equally between the divorcing parties. The courts have the power to divide all property owned by either or both of the spouses, regardless of whose name it is in or where it is located. However, there are special rules and exceptions for property owned by the spouses before marriage or received by gift or inheritance. Moreover, the parties may decide on their own what they consider to be an equal division of their personal or real property. The court will review the agreement between the parties before entering a final order, however, once it is approved by the court, it is final, except under a few limited circumstances.
When determining how personal and real property is to be divided it is essential that each party is fully informed and that all property is properly disclosed. The disclosure rules in the state of Utah are specific and intended to help you understand what property needs to be divided, its value and where it is located. The discovery and division of all personal and real property in a divorce, and understanding it completely, is often one of the greatest challenges in a divorce. Often this involves more than just simple assets and may include complex assets such as stocks, business interests, real estate transactions, etc.
The attorneys at Burton Attorneys at Law understand well the issues surrounding the division of real and personal property. Our firm has handled hundreds of cases ranging from simple to complex. Family law is all we do and that means we know the law relating to divorce and specifically the division of real and personal property. Let an experienced family law attorney at our firm sit down with you today to discuss you divorce needs.
DIVISION OF DEBT
Often the parties in a divorce agree about who should pay each of their joint debts. However, that is not always the case and debt division is often intertwined with other issues such as the division of personal and real property, alimony and child support. Debt issues in a divorce must be carefully navigated so that you are not left paying for a debt that you thought was the responsibility of your former spouse. Although a divorce may divide a debt, many parties often reach the decisions relating to debt division without taking into consideration the rights of the creditor who has made separate and legal contract with the parties relating to the debts. The parties’ agreement or a court’s orders are binding only between the parties. Utah law allows notice to be given to creditors about which party is responsible for debt. However, creditors are not required to honor the division of joint debts in the divorce decree or agreement. Thus, if the spouse who is supposed to pay fails to do so, the creditors may seek payment from the other spouse, who has to try to collect money from the one who was supposed to pay. These issues need to be taken into account if a party wants to fully resolve their debt issues in their divorce. Otherwise your divorce decree may fall short of its desired effect and leave one, or both, of the parties with unintended consequences.
If the parties to a divorce cannot decide how to divide their debts on their own they may be able to resolve the issues at mediation. We suggest that parties attend mediation with their attorneys to fully understand the agreements they make relating to their divorce. If they cannot agree, the issues will need to be determined by the Court at a trial. Whether working toward a resolution at mediation or trial, the professionals at Burton Attorneys at Law have the divorce experience to help you reach your goals. All we do is family law – that means we help a lot of people with divorce and we understand the long reaching consequences it has on your future. Trust our firm with your divorce needs today.