Matthew C. Brimley

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DIVORCE & CUSTODY
Information Center

Alimony/Property


Does Utah Allow Alimony, And Who Can Get It?
Either party may request and be granted alimony. Regardless of gender, alimony may be ordered on a temporary basis, pending trial, as well as for a longer period after entry of the Decree of Divorce. In determining alimony, the courts consider at least the following factors:

The courts may also consider the fault of the parties in determining alimony.
The courts, as a general rule, look at the standard of living that existed at the time of separation in determining alimony. In marriages of short duration, with no children conceived or born, the court may consider the standard of living that existed at the time of the marriage. There are times when the courts will equalize income or attempt to equalize the party's respective standards of living.
Alimony may be reviewed and modified as conditions change and as warranted. Alimony terminates automatically upon remarriage or cohabitation by the recipient spouse. Alimony is not ordered for a duration longer than the length of the marriage, except in extenuating circumstances.
How Is Property Divided?
In Utah, the law recognizes that a spouse who works in the home as well as a spouse who works outside the home both contribute to the property acquired during the marriage, regardless of the income source. Utah requires an "equitable" though not necessarily equal, division of such property, which depends on how long the marriage lasted, the age and health of the parties, their occupations, amounts and sources of income, and related matters. The court has the power to apportion all property owned by either or both of the spouses, regardless of whose name it is in or where it is located, and there are special rules for apportioning property owned by the spouses prior to the marriage, or received by gift or inheritance. Usually, these properties are considered separate. If the parties divide their property by agreement, the judge must review the decision to be sure that it is equitable; however, the division of property cannot be reopened after it is final, except under a few very rigid circumstances.