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Loren, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33479
Experience:  30 plus years of experience.
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My daughter and her husband married 3 years ago. 1st year:

Customer Question

My daughter and her husband married 3 years ago.
1st year:
Her: she went to 1st year of MBA and had an internship where she made abt. $6,000
Him: Didn't know what to study, tried business and lost money, then went to work at bank, where he earned about $5,000
2nd year:
Her: Finished MBA
Him: worked at a bank at $11/hour
3rd year:
Her: Worked full-time. started at $50,000/year and now $70,000/year
Him: started school again, last year of English bachelor and worked part-time as teacher
During the 2 first years (her MBA) paid half of our daughter school cost (tuition, books, rent)
The husband is the one asking for divorce. He is filling out the papers but is asking for alimony because he supposedly supported her while she was going to school.
Question: How can they decide what is fair?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Under Utah laws the courts are required to consider the following factors:

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

First, the standard of living of the couple during the marriage.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Also, the court will consider

  • the financial condition and needs of the spouse seeking alimony (or the “requesting spouse”)
  • the requesting spouse’s education level and “earning capacity” (how much that spouse could earn based on education, skills, job history, and current employment opportunities)
  • the other spouse’s ability to pay alimony
  • the length of the marriage
  • who has custody of the couple’s children and whether the children need support
  • whether the requesting spouse worked in a business owned or operated by the other, and
  • whether the requesting spouse contributed to any increase in the other spouse’s income potential by, for example, paying for the other spouse’s education or supporting the family while the other spouse attended school during the marriage.

The court may also consider the following factors:

  • either spouse’s fault or any marital misconduct, which led to the divorce
  • the ages, and the physical and emotional health of both spouses
  • how long the spouse seeking support was out of the workforce to care for children, and
  • any other factors the court believes are relevant.

When determining the amount of alimony to award, the court will look at all sources of income for both parties, including things like overtime, self-employment, and income from a second job. The court will also consider the current earning capacity of both spouses.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

The thing is, while the court may award some period of spousal support, by law, the period of time may not exceed the length of the marriage as a maximum.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

So, if spousal support is awarded, it is not likely to be for very long with such a brief marriage.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Are you online with me?

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Did you have further questions? Have I answered your question?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. Just two more questions:
1- Assuming the earning capacity was about the same for the first two years of marriage, and the requesting spouse had about a $1,500/month less earning capacity per month for the last year, and assuming the requesting spouse contributed to about $6000 of the education of the other, what would be a fair lump sum alimony, if any, to the requesting spouse (just a rough estimate)?
2- How do you split retirement accounts if part of the balance in the accounts existed before the marriage and part was contributed during the marriage?
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

The marriage is so brief in duration that if any lump sum alimony is awarded, is is likely to be nominal. Perhaps the court might give back the cost of the other spouse's education contributed by other.

Likewise, the appreciation of retirement accounts are likely to be remain with the parties who owned them before the marriage.

The marriage is so brief that the legal fees would exceed the asset value in dispute if this were fought over.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

If you have no further questions, and have not yet done so, please remember to leave a favorable rating (Excellent or Good) so that I am credited for assisting you. A bonus is not required, but is always appreciated.

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