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Legal Memorandum: Husband's Right to Alimony in UT

Issue: What factors will a Utah court consider in determining a husband’s, as opposed to a wife’s, right to alimony?

Area of Law: Family Law
Keywords: Alimony; Husband's right; Gender-neutral statute
Jurisdiction: Utah
Cited Cases: 626 P.2d 61; 57 P. 20
Cited Statutes: Utah Code Ann. § 30-3-5
Date: 03/01/2005

A very early Utah court noted that generally the husband is not entitled to alimony, absent statutory directive.  Hoagland v. Hoagland, 57 P. 20, 21 (Utah 1899). Utah’s alimony statute is gender-neutral.  See Utah Code Ann. § 30-3-5 (Supp. 2004).  Although no Utah court has addressed whether provision of alimony only to a wife and not to a husband violates constitutional principles, other courts have.  See Sanches v. Sanches, 626 P.2d 61, 63 (Wyo. 1981) (holding that Wyoming alimony statute was gender neutral and not unconstitutional).  Therefore, it is unlikely a Utah court would consider different factors in deciding whether a husband, as opposed to a wife, is entitled to alimony.

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