Family Law Attorney in Utah
Alimony Specialized Representation Tailored to Your Goals

Salt Lake County Alimony Lawyers

Results-Driven Representation During Your Divorce

Alimony paymentIn divorce cases, alimony refers to court-ordered financial support from one party to the other. Alimony awards can total hundreds of thousands of dollars, making it one of the most hotly contested issues in some divorces.

Whether you are seeking or disputing an alimony award, you can find the legal counsel you need at Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC. From our office in Draper, our Salt Lake County alimony lawyers are knowledgeable in Utah divorce law and offer personalized, client-focused representation to clients throughout the region.

Contact us online or call (801) 515-4133 to schedule a consultation.

How Alimony Is Awarded in a Divorce

An alimony award is not automatic. Alimony can be ordered on a temporary or permanent basis depending on the circumstances. Courts consider several factors when determining whether alimony should be ordered. The gender of the parties is not considered. Two of the primary factors include the need of the prospective recipient and the earning ability of the parties. In cases involving a disparity of income, the party requesting alimony is in a strong position, especially if he or she contributed in any way to the paying spouse’s skill or education during the marriage.

In addition to financial matters, courts may also consider the fault of the parties.

Since establishing fault is a broad process, the relevant statute restricts the definition of fault to include the following:

  • Infidelity
  • Knowingly and intentionally causing or attempting to cause physical harm (or the reasonable fear of life-threatening harm) to the other party or minor children
  • Undermining the financial stability of the other party or minor children

In addition to proving one or more of these actions, the party requesting alimony must also demonstrate that the fault substantially contributed to the breakup of the marriage.

Calculating Alimony in a Divorce

Calculating alimony is not as straightforward as calculating child support. Often the simplest way to establish alimony is through a mutual agreement between the parties.

When an agreement cannot be reached, courts will adhere to the fundamental goals of alimony – namely, to get both parties as close as possible to the standard of living that existed during the marriage and to prevent the recipient spouse from becoming a burden on taxpayers.

To achieve these goals, courts will consider:

  • The financial conditions and needs of the recipient spouse
  • The recipient’s ability to earn income for himself or herself
  • The paying spouse’s ability to provide support

Terminating Alimony

Alimony obligations may be terminated for a number of reasons. Sometimes alimony terminates automatically when it reaches an expiration date specified in the divorce decree. Courts cannot order a party to make alimony payments for a period longer than the marriage lasted. In addition, alimony terminates when the recipient spouse dies, remarries, or cohabitates with another person.

Alimony Modifications

In some situations, circumstances do change after the initial amount of alimony has been calculated. If either party thinks that the circumstances have changed significantly, they may file a petition with the court for an order to have alimony modified.

The court is unlikely to modify alimony to address the needs of the recipient if these needs did not exist at the time the initial alimony amount was calculated. Our Salt Lake County alimony attorneys can represent you if you are seeking to modify an alimony award or if you wish to block your ex-spouse’s efforts to modify alimony.

Contact Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC at (801) 515-4133 to get started with a consultation.


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Meet Our Team

Professional. Confident. Approachable.
  • Eric M. Swinyard Photo
    Eric M. Swinyard

    Founding Attorney

    Eric M. Swinyard is a divorce and family law attorney who serves clients throughout the State of Utah. Eric’s practice is primarily focused on providing personalized, high-quality legal services to individuals involved in divorces, paternity actions, adoptions, estate planning, and other family law matters. It’s incredibly easy to be taken advantage of during litigation, especially if you are unrepresented by legal counsel. Protect Your Rights You don’t want to be in a situation where you need ...
  • Ryan  Ficklin Photo
    Ryan Ficklin


    Ryan Ficklin is an associate attorney at Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC. Prior to practicing law in Utah, Ryan practiced family law in Southern California. In 2017, Ryan relocated back to his home state of Utah to focus on serving the people of Utah who need legal representation, particularly in the family law realm. Ryan graduated with honors from California’s Whittier Law School in May of 2015. While in law school, Ryan was a staff member for The Journal of Child and Family Advocacy. Ryan ...
  • Keith L. Johnson Photo
    Keith L. Johnson


    Keith joined Eric M. Swinyard & Associates in Fall 2020, bringing more than a decade of experience as a trial attorney in various types of legal cases. He has successfully guided hundreds of individuals through Utah’s court system. Keith previously worked at an established civil litigation firm in Salt Lake as well as a mid-sized regional law firm. He has substantive experience in a variety of practice areas and is now primarily devoted to serving individuals involved in family law cases. Keith ...
  • Mark  Hales Photo
    Mark Hales


    Mark Hales has over 17 years of legal experience in the areas of family, criminal, and civil law. He handles all types of domestic matters, including custody, divorce, child support, alimony, annulment, termination of parental rights, paternity, modifications, and adoptions. In addition, he defends clients charged with domestic violence and abuse, stalking, violations of protective orders, and other and criminal charges. Mark is a certified mediator for all legal matters and is also a certified ...
  • Justin  Stringfellow Photo
    Justin Stringfellow


    Justin Stringfellow has practiced family law in Utah for 20 years, bringing a wealth of experience to Eric Swinyard & Associates in areas such as divorce, custody, paternity, modifications, child support, and adoption proceedings. In the early years of his career, Justin appeared on an estimated 1,500 Protective Order matters. He is an expert in dealing with abuse and domestic violence components in family law matters. As such, he was distinguished by Utah's Domestic Violence Coalition. Justin ...
  • Eliza  Crespo Photo
    Eliza Crespo


    Eliza Crespo is an associate attorney at Eric Swinyard & Associates. Prior to joining the firm, Eliza practiced estate planning in Utah. Eliza offers a fresh set of eyes to difficult situations and is passionate about providing excellent and compassionate legal services to her clients. Through personal experience, she appreciates the impact of a listening ear and an effective advocate, especially during times of challenge or transition. Eliza obtained her bachelor’s degree and law degree from ...

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