What Alimony Is and What Alimony Is Not in Utah – Part 2 of 4

People who want alimony often get greedy. They try to define alimony as whatever it is they feel they are entitled to. People who want to avoid paying alimony also often get greedy. They try to argue that if they can prove their spouses can survive without any outside financial support, they thus do not qualify for any alimony. Both arguments are erroneous.

The appellate courts in Utah have made clear that

[T]he fundamental purpose of alimony ‘is to enable the receiving spouse to maintain as nearly as possible the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage and to prevent the spouse from becoming a public charge.’” Paffel v. Paffel, 732 P.2d at 100. Courts are to consider the “financial condition and needs of the spouse claiming support, the ability of that spouse to provide sufficient income for him or herself, and the ability of the responding spouse to provide the support.” Id. at 101. Bridenbaugh v. Bridenbaugh, 786 P.2d 241 (Utah Ct.App. 1990)

“The purpose of alimony is not to equalize the incomes of the parties. Rather, the purpose of alimony is to provide an adequate lifestyle for the recipient spouse.” (Davis v. Davis, 749 P.2d 647, 650 (Utah 1988)) (emphasis added)

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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