Adjustment of Alimony in Utah Divorce

Alimony can be adjusted in Utah

This information below is for informational purposes only. Attorney Brian Arnold offers a free consultation. Please call 801-475-0123 or email Brian at

Alimony Adjustment

If there is already a decree of divorce signed by a district court judge that orders alimony it can be adjusted once a substantial change in circumstances has occurred that could affect alimony. An example of a substantial change in circumstances can be a loss of income, the ex-spouse making more money, or the ex-spouse not needing the alimony any longer.

“The primary purpose of an alimony award, at least an initial one, 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 96, 100 (Utah 1986); accord Connell v. Connell, 2010 UT App 139, ¶ 9, 233 P.3d 836. To achieve this end, the Utah Code requires a court to consider several factors when calculating the appropriate amount of alimony to award:
The court shall consider at least the following factors in determining alimony:
(i) the financial condition and needs of the recipient spouse;
(ii) the recipient’s earning capacity or ability to produce income;
(iii) the ability of the payor spouse to provide support;
(iv) the length of the marriage;
(v) whether the recipient spouse has custody of minor children requiring support;
(vi) whether the recipient spouse worked in a business owned or operated by the payor spouse; and
(vii) whether the recipient spouse directly contributed to any increase in the payor spouse’s skill by paying for education received by the payor spouse or enabling the payor spouse to attend school during the marriage.
Utah Code Ann. § 30-3-5(8)(a)”  Nicholson v. Nicholson, 2017 UT App 155, ¶ 6, 405 P.3d 749, 751
The spouse’s need for alimony is usually the highest contention that occurs when it comes to modifying alimony from a decree of divorce. As we have seen pandemics, job loss, job promotions, recession, or economies that stumble can cause situations in which alimony needs to be adjusted. It is important to understand the risks and rewards when it comes to taking an alimony adjustment claim to court. A lot can depend on the county you live in, or the judge assigned to your case.
If you need to modify your alimony or if you have been served with a petition to modify alimony call today for a free consultation with Brian Arnold at (801) 475-0123.

Written by Arnold Wadsworth Coggins

Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins Attorneys is a premier Utah law firm serving the Wasatch Front in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, criminal law, and civil litigation. Our attorneys provide clients with exceptional legal representation and personal attention. With over 35 years of trial practice and litigation experience, we bring big firm expertise at affordable rates