(Note: Given that the overwhelming majority of alimony recipients have been and remain women, I will refer for this reason and this reason alone in this entry to the party seeking alimony in the feminine gender).
Here is today's topic of debate:
Resolved, that the Utah Code governing divorce (Title 30, Chapter 3) should be modified to include a provision that if one petitions (or counter petitions) for a divorce on no-fault grounds, there is a rebuttable presumption that the petitioner is not entitled to an award of alimony.
How can a petitioner logically ask on one hand, "I want to be free of all my marital responsibilities and obligations and return to my status as an unmarried person," then on the other hand claim, "But the purely marital obligation of my soon to be ex-spouse to provide for my financial/material support I wish to continue"?
And consider this: if the petitioner claims she should be freed from her obligations under the marriage contract, yet have the ex-spouse ordered to continue to provide her with financial/material support (put another way: getting the milk for free without buying the cow), why should not the ex-spouse be entitled to have the petitioner ordered to clean the respondent's house, cook his meals, babysit his children (if he's awarded child custody), or even provide him with sexual favors on a regular basis? What is the essential difference?
Whether the petitioner has "need" of support or whether the respondent "has the ability to pay" are irrelevant questions where the petitioner, knowing she cannot provide for her own support if unmarried and no longer legally entitled to her spouse's financial or other material support, nevertheless chooses to abandon the marriage on no-fault grounds.