Qualifying for the Money you Deserve


How do I know if I qualify for Alimony?

The two basic criteria for determining alimony in Salt Lake City are financial need and the ability to pay.  There are several factors that determine what defines “need” and also what determines the ability to pay.  The first thing the courts usually look at is financial status of both spouses.  They will look at each spouse’s age, health, and the overall length of the marriage in order to determine the amount of alimony for which an individual may qualify.

Does "fault" in the divorce affect the payment of alimony?

In Utah, declaration of fault in divorce proceedings does not affect the payment of alimony. It exists to give both parties equal financial standing upon separation. However, if a spouse’s poor behavior results in financial loss, that will be factored in to the decision. Another exception is if abuse by a spouse has caused circumstances that limit future potential earning. If this occurs, it will be considered with any calculations made.

Are taxes paid on alimony payments, and can it be a deduction from the paying party?

Paying Utah taxes on alimony is usually the responsibility of the person receiving the money.  The money will count as income and will thus be subject to both federal and state taxes.  The person making the payments is able to deduct that amount from their income when filing taxes.  In contrast, child support is not deductible and is not subject to taxes.  As a result, the IRS will closely monitor payments to make sure people aren’t falsely reporting the types of payments to avoid taxes. There are exceptions and ways to change who pays the taxes and who is able to deduct payments in the divorce settlement, but generally, that is how those funds are treated.

How are alimony payments calculated?

Determination of alimony amount is based on a qualification of need versus ability-to-pay. The first qualifier the court looks at is usually the financial status of both spouses.  If one spouse shows a deficit and the other shows an excess, the court will try to even out that discrepancy.  The Salt Lake City courts will also factor future earning potential into the financial statements.  They will then look at each spouse's age, health, and the length of the marriage in order to determine the amount to be paid and for how long.

How long do alimony payments usually last?

There is no set timeframe for how long the payments will last.  Every state has their own laws for determining the length of time that payments will be made.  Alimony is designed to be rehabilitative, so the Utah courts will base their decision on how long it should take for the person receiving the payment to become self-sufficient.

Can a husband receive alimony from his wife?

With more and more families having dual incomes, it is becoming both more accepted and more common for a husband to receive payments from his ex-wife in situations where it is appropriate.  If the husband is either the primary caregiver (i.e. a “stay-at-home dad”) or if both spouses work and the wife has a larger income, it is a growing practice in Salt Lake City for the husband to receive alimony.