Utah’s Alimony & Cohabitation Rule

Cohabitation or Remarriage Terminates Alimony

In Utah the court may award alimony to one of the parties of a divorce based on a number of different factors. That award is usually not order for a period longer than the length of the marriage and it terminates automatically if the receiving party remarries or cohabits with another partner. Unfortunately the statute that sets out the guidelines for how the court should deal with alimony does not provide a definition for what cohabitation is. This provides attorneys with some good wiggle room for arguing why alimony should or should not be terminated in certain cases.

Myers v. Myers

A case that is currently being reviewed by the Utah Supreme Court addresses this issue of defining cohabitation. Becky Myers and her husband Tracy divorced in 2006 after 18 years of marriage, and Becky was awarded alimony. After the marriage Becky bounced around from one place to another until she ended up at her parents place where she states she wasn’t living but the court has found that she spent 80% of her time there and that it was considered her residence in 2007. While living at her parents house Becky allegedly started to have a sexual relationship with one of the foster boys that also lived in the home, and this is the issue at trial, whether or not this situation comprises cohabitation and warrants the termination of alimony, if these accusations are true. In 2008 a district judge considered Becky to be cohabiting and order the alimony payments be stopped, but last year the court of appeals reversed the district courts decision and reinstated the payments. The Utah Supreme Court is know reviewing the decision and will most likely make a ruling in the coming months.

Utah Alimony Lawyer

If you are getting divorced or are already divorced and are having issues with alimony then call the attorneys at Salcido Law Firm for help. Our lawyers are experienced family law attorneys who will work tirelessly in your best interest. Call us today to set up a free consultation.

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