Alimony Lawyer Ogden, UT
If you are facing divorce and in need of continuing support from your soon-to-be ex, or if you are facing a soon-to-be ex who expects alimony or continuing support from you, look to a divorce and alimony lawyer your community trusts. At Felt Family Law & Mediation, in Ogden UT, we are well-versed in divorce, custody and family law including issues of alimony and continuing spousal support. Whether you are the spouse in need of help or the spouse facing potential support obligations, you need a well-versed family law attorney on your team. Our top-notch Ogden alimony attorneys are known for their dedication and expertise in family law. After all, it’s in our name; it’s what we do.
WHAT IS ALIMONY OR SPOUSAL SUPPORT?
Alimony is an order for spousal support that continues after a decree of divorce is entered. The purpose of alimony is to help make sure that a person (often but not always the mother) who has been married with little or no income will not become a ward of the state due to poverty when they are divorced. In other words, the state does not want to get stuck financially caring for one divorced spouse while letting the other spouse off care-free with no financial responsibility for their impoverished ex. Alimony is also society’s way of recognizing that a lower-income spouse or a spouse who stays home to take care of children make the economic success of family and the other spouse possible.
HOW LONG IS ALIMONY?
Alimony is generally limited in duration to the length of the marriage: if you were married 10 years, you could not receive more than 10 years of alimony. However, you are not guaranteed to get the full 10 years. Often times, and depending on many factors discussed below, the alimony order can end up much shorter than for the length of the marriage. In other words, if you were married for 10 years, the alimony could still be limited to 5 years or 3 years or maybe less.
The length of alimony is often negotiated as part of the overall distribution of marital assets. For that reason, if you want to receive alimony or if your ex wants you to pay alimony, it is very important to have an experienced alimony attorney on your team. Having a good alimony lawyer on your side can make a big difference in how long the alimony lasts.
In addition, no matter how long the alimony may be, alimony will usually end automatically if the person receiving alimony remarries, cohabitates with another person, or passes away, whichever happens first.
WHAT IS COHABITATION?
“Cohabitation” is a legal term that means much more than having a relationship or sleeping over at someone’s house. Cohabitation is one of the triggers that automatically ends alimony. Cohabitation means living with someone and sharing resources and obligations, similar to a married couple. A cohabitating couple not only sleeps together, but they live together in the same house. They share bills or financial accounts. They share addresses and groceries and cell phone plans, etc.
If you are paying alimony and believe your ex is cohabitating, talk to an experienced alimony attorney, like the Ogden attorneys at Felt Family Law & Mediation right away. Cohabitation laws are complex and very time sensitive. If you wait too long, you may lose the opportunity to end your alimony payments.
HOW MUCH IS ALIMONY?
In Utah, the question of how much is alimony is very complicated, arguably the most nuanced area of divorce law. The general structure is simple enough, but as they say, the devil is in the details.
The first step to calculating the alimony amount is to confirm each party’s income. If both parties are working hourly or salaried jobs, figuring out income is straightforward. If one or both are self-employed, underemployed, unemployed, business owners, retired, or earn largely on commission, do seasonal work, or have any other form of irregular income, then just calculating and verifying income becomes difficult.
The second step is to tally up and confirm each party’s expenses: housing, utilities, activities, vehicles, insurance, gifts, donations, and much more. Tallying and confirming expenses gets more involved the more couples earn and the more couples are accustomed to spending. For high-income households, it is especially important to get the help of a good divorce and alimony attorney to make sure all reasonable expenses are accounted for and verified.
The third step is comparing the parties’ relative incomes and expenses. The party asking for alimony must show that they have a need for alimony, that their income cannot cover their expenses. They must also show that the other party has the ability to pay alimony, that the other party’s income is more than their expenses. In many cases, neither party has enough income to cover their expenses. In those cases, the court will often “share the pain” or order an alimony amount that evens out each parties’ financial deficit.
Often, the parties will negotiate or go to mediation and reach an agreement on the alimony amount. Having a good alimony lawyer on your team can help maximize the alimony amount if you are asking for alimony or minimize the amount if you are being asked to pay.
OUR OGDEN ALIMONY ATTORNEY CAN HELP!
Do not go it alone if you are asking for alimony in a divorce or if you are being asked to pay alimony. Felt Family Law & Mediation is a firm dedicated to helping families and individuals move past the hurdles of divorce while preserving your rights and assets. Our team will work tirelessly to help you move forward with dignity and hope for a bright future after the divorce. You deserve to have an experienced team passionately fighting in your corner. Your top-notch alimony lawyer in Ogden UT is just a phone call away; contact us at Felt Family Law & Mediation today!