The Appellate Group

Wellman v. Kawasaki

Wellman v. Kawasaki, 2023 UT App 11 (Harris, J.)


Ms. Kawasaki and Mr. Wellman were married and had three children before divorcing. The district court entered temporary orders requiring Mr. Wellman to pay child support and the mortgage on the martial home in lieu of alimony. Over the three years before trial, Mr. Wellman lived in the martial home’s basement on and off, paid the mortgage some of the time, and stopped paying the mortgage by trial. He never made a single child support payment. Ms. Kawasaki failed to produce any financial declarations before trial, which Mr. Wellman barred the court from awarding her alimony. The district court agreed and did not award her alimony. Ms. Kawasaki filed a post-trial motion, which the trial court denied. The Utah Court of Appeal affirmed the district court, holding:

  • As the party seeking an alimony award, Ms. Kawasaki bore the burden of showing her financial need for such an award. The trial court determined that she had failed to meet that burden, and that was not an abuse of the court’s discretion.

Read the full court opinion