The Utah Court of Appeals has listed a new decision addressing alimony and dividing of retirement accounts when people marry later in life. The case is Petrzelka v. Goodwin20200305_20180923_34.pdf.
Husband had requested alimony. The trial court took his social security income, and his retirement income into consideration, and then also imputed income to his so as to satisfy his needs. As such, the trial court found that he had no “need”. (As Husband had moved to California, the trial court found he could get a part-time job earning at least $15 per hour).
As to retirement, the trial court valued Wife’s account as of the date of separation, not the date of the divorce as is the usual date.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision
Husband was 61 and Wife 42 when they married in 2004. Husband retired in 2012. They separated in 2015. The divorce was entered in 2018.
One may well note that in this case, the Husband was seeking alimony from the Wife, who was still gainfully employed; and, that Husband was seeking a portion of Wife’s retirement fund that continued to grow after their separation. Yet, on both issues, the court ruled more favorably for the Wife — a point for all parties to consider!
Your attorney needs to be aware of this case, particularly if you are pursuing a divorce later in life.