alimony-calculated-utah

Understanding Alimony Awards in Utah

One of the most important jobs a Utah divorce lawyer has is to help their client separate the emotional aspects of their case from the financial ones.  For example, let’s say someone was wronged because their partner was unfaithful during their marriage.  This obviously has a large emotional impact on their life and could lead to divorce.  Even though that person did cheat on their partner, it does not mean that they have withdrawn their rights towards seeking alimony.  It is a difficult prospect for someone to feel like they have to pay their ex-spouse.  It is important to remember that alimony or spousal support is not meant to be viewed as a reward or a punishment.  Rather, the courts use alimony as an equalizer that allows both individuals to live the same lifestyle they enjoyed during the marriage.

More information about alimony in Utah

If a person is the primary “breadwinner” of the relationship, and the marriage lasted for more than a couple of years, it is likely that alimony will be awarded for some period of time.  One misconception about people have about spousal support is that the dollar amount awarded cannot exceed their total disposable income.  So example, after partner A has addressed all of their bills and has $300 leftover each month, that the alimony award will be roughly $300 since that is what is leftover.  This is not necessarily true as alimony is not calculated based on one’s ability to pay.  There are circumstances where alimony will not apply if the primary breadwinner is not able to pay for their own essentials such as food, clothing, and shelter.

The partner seeking alimony will usually need to show a “demonstrative need” when it comes to calculating the dollar amount they will be awarded.  For example, assumed that partner B is able to make $2000 a month, but has a need of $3000 a month to address their bills and financial needs.  Essentially this person has a shortfall of roughly $1000 a month.  If the other partner makes good money and is able to pay this amount it may be likely that this amount will be awarded, but may not exceed this demonstrated need amount.  This is one of the many reasons that it is important for both partners to accurately and honestly disclose their finances to their family law attorney.  By knowing items such as assets, bills, vehicles, and real estate holdings a standard of living can be established and addressed.

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