Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Property Division is to be Equitable not Equal and Alimony Must have a Conclusion

Boyer v. Boyer, 2011 UT App 141 (Utah Court of Appeals, May 5, 2011)
Husband and Wife divorced.  Husband was awarded his retirement and the business.  He was further awarded a majority of the debt and was ordered to pay alimony.  Wife appealed the property division claiming she should be awarded a portion of the business and Husband’s retirement.  She also appealed the alimony award arguing that the Court failed to consider husband’s fault, (Husband had given wife a STD) and wife’s health.  Wife also appealed the Court’s prospective downward adjustments to alimony.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the property division, finding that while not equal as to the individual parts was equitable when evaluating the entire award.  As to alimony, The Court of Appeals found that there was no need to analyze Wife’s health, because that is not one of the statutory factors.  The Court did not have to analyze fault because it is an optional factor (“Court may consider fault”).  However, the Court remanded the award for further findings as to the prospective downward adjustments (which the Court of Appeals found would be appropriate and consistent with rehabilitative alimony, the trial simply needed to categorize the alimony award).  The Court of Appeals further remanded for findings as to the date of conclusion of alimony. 

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