Proposed Legislation Focuses on Fault’s Role in the Economics of Divorce

Under current Utah law, no-fault divorce is available. And in such a divorce, fault is not a factor in determining alimony.

Proposed legislation is pending in Utah to modify this approach.

The bill would allow a judge to consider whether a stay-at-home, custodial parent was at fault in the divorce and, if not, award additional alimony toward the goal that they remain stay-at-home parents after the divorce.

Paradoxically, a different bill pending in Utah seeks to phase out permanent or long term (greater than five years) alimony. This mirrors debates and shifts in law playing out across the nation.

The role of fault in alimony and / or property division in no-fault divorce states such as Florida can be confusing. Some believe fault should be irrelevant.

Others believe that courts should be permitted to consider fault. Still others believe that economic fault alone should be considered.

Here in Florida, although divorce itself is granted without consideration of fault, the court may consider fault in both alimony or spousal support awards and in property division or equitable distribution. However, in practice, fault rarely comes into play unless the fault is economic in nature or the fault imposes an economic impact on the other spouse.

Read more in this [Salt Lake City] Desert News article: Bills would allow Utah judges to consider fault when awarding alimony.