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S.B. 108 Enrolled
AN ACT RELATING TO HUSBAND AND WIFE; PROVIDING THAT ALIMONY
TERMINATES UPON THE DEATH OF THE RECIPIENT.
This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
30-3-5, as last amended by Chapter 232, Laws of Utah 1997
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
Section 1. Section 30-3-5 is amended to read:
30-3-5. Disposition of property -- Maintenance and health care of parties and
children -- Division of debts -- Court to have continuing jurisdiction -- Custody and visitation
-- Determination of alimony -- Nonmeritorious petition for modification.
(1) When a decree of divorce is rendered, the court may include in it equitable orders
relating to the children, property, debts or obligations, and parties. The court shall include the
following in every decree of divorce:
(a) an order assigning responsibility for the payment of reasonable and necessary medical
and dental expenses of the dependent children;
(b) if coverage is or becomes available at a reasonable cost, an order requiring the purchase
and maintenance of appropriate health, hospital, and dental care insurance for the dependent
(c) pursuant to Section 15-4-6.5 :
(i) an order specifying which party is responsible for the payment of joint debts,
obligations, or liabilities of the parties contracted or incurred during marriage;
(ii) an order requiring the parties to notify respective creditors or obligees, regarding the
court's division of debts, obligations, or liabilities and regarding the parties' separate, current
(iii) provisions for the enforcement of these orders; and
(d) provisions for income withholding in accordance with Title 62A, Chapter 11, Recovery
(2) The court may include, in an order determining child support, an order assigning
financial responsibility for all or a portion of child care expenses incurred on behalf of the dependent
children, necessitated by the employment or training of the custodial parent. If the court determines
that the circumstances are appropriate and that the dependent children would be adequately cared
for, it may include an order allowing the noncustodial parent to provide child care for the dependent
children, necessitated by the employment or training of the custodial parent.
(3) The court has continuing jurisdiction to make subsequent changes or new orders for the
custody of the children and their support, maintenance, health, and dental care, and for distribution
of the property and obligations for debts as is reasonable and necessary.
(4) (a) In determining visitation rights of parents, grandparents, and other members of the
immediate family, the court shall consider the best interest of the child.
(b) Upon a specific finding by the court of the need for peace officer enforcement, the court
may include in an order establishing a visitation schedule a provision, among other things,
authorizing any peace officer to enforce a court ordered visitation schedule entered under this
(5) If a petition for modification of child custody or visitation provisions of a court order is
made and denied, the court shall order the petitioner to pay the reasonable attorneys' fees expended
by the prevailing party in that action, if the court determines that the petition was without merit and
not asserted or defended against in good faith.
(6) If a petition alleges substantial noncompliance with a visitation order by a parent, a
grandparent, or other member of the immediate family pursuant to Section 78-32-12.2 where a
visitation right has been previously granted by the court, the court may award to the prevailing party
costs, including actual attorney fees and court costs incurred by the prevailing party because of the
other party's failure to provide or exercise court-ordered visitation.
(7) (a) The court shall consider at least the following factors in determining alimony:
(i) the financial condition and needs of the recipient spouse;
(ii) the recipient's earning capacity or ability to produce income;
(iii) the ability of the payor spouse to provide support; and
(iv) the length of the marriage.
(b) The court may consider the fault of the parties in determining alimony.
(c) As a general rule, the court should look to the standard of living, existing at the time of
separation, in determining alimony in accordance with Subsection (7)(a). However, the court shall
consider all relevant facts and equitable principles and may, in its discretion, base alimony on the
standard of living that existed at the time of trial. In marriages of short duration, when no children
have been conceived or born during the marriage, the court may consider the standard of living that
existed at the time of the marriage.
(d) The court may, under appropriate circumstances, attempt to equalize the parties'
respective standards of living.
(e) When a marriage of long duration dissolves on the threshold of a major change in the
income of one of the spouses due to the collective efforts of both, that change shall be considered
in dividing the marital property and in determining the amount of alimony. If one spouse's earning
capacity has been greatly enhanced through the efforts of both spouses during the marriage, the court
may make a compensating adjustment in dividing the marital property and awarding alimony.
(f) In determining alimony when a marriage of short duration dissolves, and no children have
been conceived or born during the marriage, the court may consider restoring each party to the
condition which existed at the time of the marriage.
(g) (i) The court has continuing jurisdiction to make substantive changes and new orders
regarding alimony based on a substantial material change in circumstances not foreseeable at the
time of the divorce.
(ii) The court may not modify alimony or issue a new order for alimony to address needs of
the recipient that did not exist at the time the decree was entered, unless the court finds extenuating
circumstances that justify that action.
(iii) In determining alimony, the income of any subsequent spouse of the payor may not be
considered, except as provided in this subsection.
(A) The court may consider the subsequent spouse's financial ability to share living
(B) The court may consider the income of a subsequent spouse if the court finds that the
payor's improper conduct justifies that consideration.
(h) Alimony may not be ordered for a duration longer than the number of years that the
marriage existed unless, at any time prior to termination of alimony, the court finds extenuating
circumstances that justify the payment of alimony for a longer period of time.
(8) Unless a decree of divorce specifically provides otherwise, any order of the court that a
party pay alimony to a former spouse automatically terminates upon the remarriage or death of that
former spouse. However, if the remarriage is annulled and found to be void ab initio, payment of
alimony shall resume if the party paying alimony is made a party to the action of annulment and his
rights are determined.
(9) Any order of the court that a party pay alimony to a former spouse terminates upon
establishment by the party paying alimony that the former spouse is cohabitating with another
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