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In a divorce case, Utah family courts are expected to strive for fairness and equity for both parties whenever possible. In some cases, spousal support (also known as alimony) may be necessary to achieve such equity. Spousal support is a specified amount that one spouse is ordered to pay the other for a certain period of time following the divorce. This support is meant to assist a spouse who has less money and to try to facilitate a standard of living similar to what they experienced in the course of their marriage. Spousal support is often awarded in cases in which one spouse gave up professional opportunities to stay home and care for the household while the other continued on a successful career path. In these situations, the spouse who stayed home likely requires education, training, or experience to reach a professional level that provides adequate financial support. The spousal support is intended to provide support until they reach the necessary earning capacity.
Spousal support can last for months or years, with the maximum amount of time generally equivalent to the length of the marriage. It is common for a spouse to miss one or more spousal support payments during this time. Missing a payment, however, can cause significant financial difficulties for the spouse relying on payments. This begs the question: what are your options if you do not receive the ordered support?
Enforcing Spousal Support Orders
Spousal support laws in Utah allow you to enforce a court order by returning to the court that issued the order. You can file a motion with the court requesting that it enforce the spousal support order. It is important that you provide specific information regarding the missed or inadequate payments and how these violations of the order have adversely affected your financial situation. Your former spouse will be called into court to explain their default and, if they continue to miss payments, the court may hold them in contempt. The contempt case is a separate case and can result in financial sanctions, time in jail, or other penalties for failure to obey the court.
If holding your former spouse in contempt of court still does not result in adequate payment, you may have other options including seeking a wage garnishment or filing a legal claim to obtain a judgment for the amount owed. An experienced spousal support attorney can review all of your options and help you choose the best course of legal action to obtain the support you deserve.
Find Out How A Family Law Lawyer In Salt Lake City Can Help You
Spousal support is often necessary to cover even the most basic expenses in the wake of a divorce. If you have not received the spousal support to which you are entitled, you should not delay in contacting a Salt Lake City family law firm.