What Is the Most I Can Receive in Alimony?

You already know the lest you can receive in alimony is $0. (Makes sense, right?)

The real question is how much can you receive in alimony.

The answer is found in how Utah courts calculate alimony in divorce cases.


Divorce is a function of a couple things: need and ability to pay. To figure out need, there are a couple steps.

Step 1: monthly expenses

To figure out need, we look at the spouse who makes less money (Spouse 1) and see what that spouse’s “monthly need” is. Monthly need refers to the amount of money you need every month to make ends meet.

Now, you don’t need to cut your monthly budget to the rice and beans level when figuring out alimony. Instead, you can use the necessary monthly expenses you used during your marriage.

In other words, you use your marital standard of living when determining how much you need in alimony.

Step 2: Income

Next, we look at how much money Spouse 1 makes per month from all sources (sources like work, child support, rental income).

Once you find that amount, you subtract Spouse 1’s monthly expenses. Violà, you have need.

Quick Example

Quick example. If Spouse 1 makes $5000 per month and has monthly expenses of $6000, then Spouse 1 has a need of $1000.

So, What Is the Most I Can Receive in Alimony?

The most you can receive in alimony is your need.

That means if you’re Spouse 1, the most alimony you could receive is $1000 per month.

So, even if one spouse makes a tremendous amount of money and can afford to pay way more in alimony, alimony is limited by the other spouse’s actual need.

Published On: August 26th, 2017Categories: AlimonyComments Off on What Is the Most I Can Receive in Alimony?
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About the Author: Marco Brown
Marco C. Brown was named Utah’s Outstanding Family Law Lawyer of the Year in 2015. He graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2007 and is currently the managing partner of Brown Family Law, LLC.
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