What is Alimony and how does it work?

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Alimony, or spousal support, also called maintenance or spousal maintenance in commonwealth countries, is based on some fairly simple, very old ideas. The basic assumption of alimony laws is that one partner of a marriage remains responsible for the financial well being of their spouse, even after a divorce or separation. Traditionally this has been seen as the obligation of a husband to his (ex)wife, but there has been a more recent trend towards gender equality in when alimony assessments are made.

The idea of alimony is an old one, in fact, the code of Hammurabi (1754 BC) outlines the obligations of a man who wishes to separate from a woman who had his children, married or not. And the idea of alimony is again laid down in the Corpus Juris Civilis, the legal code of the Eastern Roman Emperor Justininan. (482–565 AD) Our understanding of alimony, as 21st century Americans comes down to us from English ecclesiastical law under the Church of England and, later, British common law.

In Utah civil law either the husband or wife may ask the court to receive alimony payments, alimony may be granted for the duration of divorce proceedings and/or for a period of time following the divorce. While alimony can be applied permanently, this occurs infrequently and is subject to limitations. When making decisions about alimony the court may consider a number of factors, including but not limited to:

· The recipient’s earning ability or ability to produce income.

· The length of the marriage.

· Child custody decisions made by the court will also be a factor, but alimony remains separate from child support payments.

· Age of the parties at the time of the divorce.

· Spousal fault in marital breakdown.

We at Larsen Legal law firm are proud to have served the greater Provo area as divorce, family law and personal injury attorneys. Our slogan is “what can our firm do for you,” and we bring our years of legal experience and knowledge together with committed dedication to each of our clients. Going through a divorce is not easy, not for anyone involved, so let us help you through this trying time; if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to schedule a free consultation.

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