Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Alimony may be more likely for baby boomers

Not everyone experiences the same event in the same manner. Each Salt Lake City resident is different, with different personal characteristics and circumstances, which means even the same type of event can be markedly different for different people.

Divorce is a classic example of this, as no two divorce proceedings are the same. The differences in individual's marriages and their personal circumstances can lead to drastically different experiences in the divorce process.

Last week, this blog discussed the rising number of divorces occurring for baby boomers. The issues involved in a baby boomer divorce will vary from those involved at the end of a marriage for other generations.

For instance, baby boomers who are divorcing often have been married for several years, or decades. When a court is deciding whether to award alimony, one of the factors it has to consider under Utah law is the length of the marriage. The court is more likely to award alimony if the marriage was of a longer duration.

Moreover, the court typically will not award alimony for a period of years longer than the duration of the marriage. Accordingly, if the baby boomers were married for a number of years, this could result in a longer award of alimony.

The court also must consider the financial condition and needs of the spouse receiving alimony, as well as that person's ability to earn an income. For those involved in longer marriages, one spouse may be less able to earn an income because of the years spent away from the workforce or lack of education. Accordingly, an award of alimony may be more likely because that person will not be able to earn an income as easily as someone who could begin competing more easily in the employment marketplace.

Ultimately, every divorce is different. There is much variability even when it comes to divorces involving baby boomers. Therefore, individuals should understand the facts and law that will apply in their personal circumstances.

Source: Utah State Legislature, "Title 30, Chapter 3, Section 5," accessed on Jan. 16, 2016

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