Alimony Lawyer Ogden, UT
Alimony, also referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance, can help a spouse who earns less than the other spouse in order to avoid financial hardship while going through and following a divorce. When a married couple gets divorced in Utah, there is no guarantee that one spouse will be required to pay the other one alimony and usually is dependent on certain circumstances. An alimony lawyer in Ogden, UT from Felt Family Law & Mediation can evaluate your situation and determine if the divorce judge overseeing your case will order alimony.
PRENUPTIAL OR POSTNUPTIAL AGREEMENT
One of the ways that guarantee alimony will be paid is if the couple drafted a prenuptial agreement prior to getting married or a postnuptial agreement after they were married that specifies what alimony arrangements will be should the couple divorce. It is critical that the agreement meets all the criteria required by Utah law in order for it to be valid. If one of the spouses signed the agreement under duress, the provisions outlined in the agreement are unfair, or otherwise don’t meet the guidelines set forth under the law, then the court may declare the agreement invalid. This is why it is always important to have any agreement reviewed by a lawyer
As an Ogden, UT alimony lawyer can explain, the court will consider certain factors when determining if alimony should be awarded to one of the spouses. Some of these factors include:
- The length of the marriage
- The standard of living established by the couple
- The age of the spouses
- The health of the spouses
- How the marital estate is being divided
- The conduct of each of the spouses that led up to the divorce
- Each spouse’s income
- Each spouse’s employability
- The amount of time needed for the spouse who is seeking alimony to obtain training, education, and employment in order to be self-supporting
In most situations, any alimony that is awarded is usually temporary, with the purpose being to give the receiving spouse time to become financially independent. There are circumstances, however, where the court will award permanent alimony, such as when a marriage lasted two or more decades. Whether the alimony is temporary or permanent, these payments do end if the spouse receiving the alimony remarries.
It is also important to note that alimony can be awarded to either spouse. Many people think that alimony is only awarded to wives, but husbands can also petition the court to receive alimony.
CALL OUR OFFICE FOR LEGAL ASSISTANCE
If you are going through a divorce and believe that alimony will be an issue, contact Felt Family Law & Mediation to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an Ogden, UT alimony lawyer.
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 makes the economic success of the 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 for 10 years, you could not receive more than 10 years of alimony. However, you are not guaranteed to get the full 10 years. Oftentimes, 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 totally 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.
HOW CAN AN ALIMONY ATTORNEY HELP
Having an ace alimony lawyer on your side can help you whether you are asking for alimony or you are facing alimony or already paying. A good lawyer can negotiate with the other party to ensure you’re receiving the right compensation or are paying a realistic amount. Some factors that may lead to alimony needing to be reconsidered can include:
- Either an increase or decrease in either party’s income overall income.
- An increase or decrease in either party’s overall expenses.
- Assets gained following the divorce.
- The amount of alimony paid and how many payments are left.
- If either party has gotten married.
For requesting a reduction or a complete elimination of alimony payments, the party will first need to file a petition with the court. This will lead to a hearing where they will have to tell everyone present why they’re demanding the change. The judge will then review the case and determine if there’s a reasonable cause to modify the alimony.
It’s also possible for spouses to come to a modified alimony agreement. While the process would still have to go to court, if both parties can demonstrate that they agree with the changes then there’s a strong chance of a reduction/elimination being approved.
HOW MUCH DOES AN ALIMONY ATTORNEY COST?
In Utah, the average cost for an alimony attorney is generally $195 and $230 an hour and may often be between $8,000 to $9,700 as a total cost. However, this can also depend upon the case itself. For cases where there are little to no contested issues, a lawyer’s job will most likely be to just review all the documents to ensure everything is in order. In cases where litigation is necessary, the cost really usually increases significantly to compensate for the attorney’s time.
HOW LONG DOES AN ALIMONY CASE TAKE?
It can be hard determining how long an alimony case will take especially because alimony is wrapped up in other factors of divorce such as:
- Child custody/parent-time/child support.
- Division of debt, property, and retirement benefits.
Even when both parties are in agreement with little to no mediation taking place, the whole process might still take a few months to be completely resolved. When there are contested issues, the entire divorce–and, as a result, alimony–can take up to years to be solved. This is especially the case when children are involved.
For a modification in alimony, the process will generally be a lot quicker, especially when both parties are in agreement. When possible it’s also best to avoid taking any alimony case to court. Instead, try to compromise with your ex for a solution. This is where mediation can help as well as having an experienced attorney on your team. They can help negotiate and offer solutions that will benefit both parties.
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 their 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!