The Appellate Group

Clarke v. Clarke

Clarke v. Clarke, 2023 UT App 160 (Harris, J.)

Family Law

Husband and Wife separated, and the divorce proceeded to a bench trial. The district court denied Wife’s motion for a new trial. Wife appealed aspects of the court’s findings and conclusions regarding the financial aspects of the case, mainly the determination as to how much alimony Husband was ordered to pay.  The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding:

  • The district court did not abuse its discretion regarding alimony; its findings and conclusions were supported by sufficient evidence. 
  • The district court did not err in denying Anne’s motion for a new trial.
  • Practice tip: While district courts must “consider all sources of income when determining alimony,” Utah law “does not dictate that all sources of income be counted as income received by a spouse for that purpose.”
  • Judicial tip: Courts should not calculate alimony by simply dividing the couple’s pre-separation expenses in half. There is usually no need for a trial court to make a separate specific finding regarding the overall marital standard of living based on pre-divorce monthly spending.

Read the full court opinion