In an alimony case where the requesting party fails to provide supporting financial documents, a court may impute reasonable expenses based on circumstantial and testimonial evidence.

May 24, 2018

In a previous Utah Supreme Court case of Dahl v. Dahl, 2015 UT 79, the court rule in the facts of that case, Wife failed to show but providing documentary support that she had a financial need that would support an award of alimony. (She also was receiving substantial assets in the property settlement). This is a common contention in alimony trials--that a party fails to provide receipts, bank records, statement, contracts or other evidence of his or her expenses to show that they have a need for alimony. And because a court is generally constrained to limit an award of alimony to a recipient's need (their proven budget), a lack of documentation provided at trial by the recipient spouse is often used to argue and limit or reduce an alimony award. However, in this court of appeals case, Munos v. Carlos, No. 20161013-CA, Filed May 24, 2018, the court ruled that it believed the standard of the Utah Supreme Court under Dahl is that court may impute or assume reasonable expenses if there is some evidence of the expenses and the expenses are otherwise reasonable. The court of appeals explained, "...courts may impute figures where there is insufficient evidence of one of the statutory alimony factors.” Dahl. ¶ 116 (internal quotation omitted). Thus, a court can make findings related to the statutory alimony factors without supporting financial documents and can impute reasonable expenses based on circumstantial or testimonial evidence.

March 14, 2019
When valuing a business in divorce cases, district courts must consider whether goodwill is institutional (divisible) or personal to one spouse (not divisible).

Marroquin v. Marroquin, 2019 UT App 38 (Filed March 14, 2019). Prior to and during a 9 year marriage, Husband […]

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December 28, 2018
Alimony: Is Padding Expenses Justified? Or Risky?

A Court May Decline to Accept Claimed Expenses that Are Overstated and Unsupported. This is an appeal from a district […]

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July 14, 2022
Alimony Award is Based Primarily on 3 Factors

Fox v. Fox, 2022 UT App 88 (Filed July 14, 2022) Facts:  The parties married in 1997 and wife filed […]

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