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Under Utah law, alimony does not usually last longer than the marriage without special circumstances. That means if you were married for 20 years, alimony payments will not last more than 240 months. If you are awarded temporary alimony, those months usually count towards the total months that you will receive.
If your marriage has been short-term (something not specifically defined in the law, but usually less than 10 years), the judge may consider ordering alimony for a shorter time. This is because the judge believes that you need support for a time to get back on your feet, but not for a long time. However, if you have moved around often with your spouse so they could pursue job opportunities, or you often took lower paying, less permanent employment to be flexible for your spouse’s schedule, those factors can extend the time you receive alimony (but not longer than the length of the marriage).
There are also a few other conditions that could impact your alimony payments. First, if you get remarried, your ex can stop paying alimony. The court assumes that your new spouse has taken on the duty to provide support and will require that person to assume the provider role. Make certain you take that into account when figuring out whether to remarry.
The court can also terminate alimony if you cohabit. That is not an automatic termination, but requires the paying spouse to ask the judge to end the payments. The court will be looking to determine if your relationship is “akin to a marriage.” This does not have bright line rules, but the court looks to factors like: sharing a residence, being involved in an intimate relationship, sharing expenses, making household decisions together, etc. Just having a romantic relationship is not enough to end alimony. The judge has to be convinced that the new love interest is providing for you, at least in part, and that you are living like a married couple.
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