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What Alimony Is and What Alimony Is Not in Utah – Part 3 of 4

Are there ways to game alimony calculations? Can you get more than you deserve? Or be ordered to pay less than you fairly should? Yes, yes, and yes. Is that moral or legal? No and no.

Still, understanding how people can take advantage of the alimony analysis and calculation is helpful to preventing it from happening and from victimizing payees and payors alike.

Multiple volumes could be written about the various ways in which the amount of alimony paid or received constitutes ill-gotten gains, but briefly, here are some generally common schemes, and here are some ways to combat them:

  • Misrepresenting one’s income and hiding one’s income by being self-employed.
  • Long term planning for divorce by systematically reducing one’s income months or years in advance of filing for divorce, to create an artificially low history of income.

o   One way of doing this, though not the only way, would be to quit one’s job or reduce one’s work hours by claiming to become a full-time student seeking an advanced degree.

o   Another way: colluding with an employer to defer bonuses and/or raises until after the decree of divorce is entered.

  • Increasing one’s spending habits and indebtedness in the months and years leading up to divorce to create an artificial history of a falsely expensive lifestyle
  • Being underemployed or unemployed and claiming that it constitutes the lifestyle to which you became accustomed during the marriage. For example:

o   being able to work full-time, but not working full-time or not working only part time when you could easily work full time without full time employment having any serious adverse effects on the marriage or family or children (if the couple has children).

o   being a stay-at-home parent who claims to devote his or her time to full time child rearing and housekeeping, when you’re simply lazy

  • Feigning ill health and or disabilities to up here unable to support yourself and or in need of the financial support of your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
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