Do you flee the country to avoid alimony? Or do you happily comply?
First, let’s discuss the “option” of fleeing the country to avoid paying alimony. It’s not really an option unless you consider obeying the law optional. In one sense, obeying the law is not optional because the law itself says so and makes provision for its enforcement by those who will not obey it. In another sense, obeying the law is not morally or ethically optional because if everyone treated obedience to law as optional and without adverse consequences for disobedience to it, we’d have anarchy, chaos, and misery.
Second, you have more options than those you listed in your question. If you are divorced and forced to pay alimony to your narcissistic ex-spouse, you not only have the options of 1) fleeing the country to avoid paying or 2) “happily complying”; you can also 3) grudgingly comply or 4) have the option of taking action in court to modify or terminate the alimony award.
The option of taking action in court to modify or terminate the alimony award is contingent on whether you can meet the legal requirements for modification. In Utah, where I practice divorce law, those requirements are either:
- Unless a decree of divorce specifically provides otherwise, establishment by the party paying alimony that the former spouse, after the order for alimony is issued, cohabits with another individual, even if the former spouse is not cohabiting with another person when the party paying alimony files the motion to terminate alimony (and note that a party paying alimony to a former spouse may not seek termination of alimony under this provision later than one year from the day on which the party knew or should have known that the former spouse has cohabited with another individual); or
- proving that, based on a substantial material change in circumstances not foreseeable at the time of the divorce, a modification or termination of the alimony award is warranted or necessary. Regardless of whether a party’s retirement is foreseeable, the party’s retirement is a substantial material change in circumstances that is subject to a petition to modify alimony, unless the divorce decree expressly states otherwise.
- In determining an alimony modification (which could include termination), the income of any subsequent spouse of the alimony payor may not be considered, with the exceptions that the court may consider the subsequent spouse’s financial ability to share living expenses, or if the court finds that the payor’s improper conduct justifies that consideration, or if the court finds some other compelling reason to do so.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277