Alimony bill that has attention of stay-at-home parents moves closer to approval

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SALT LAKE CITY - A bill being discussed at the State Capitol has the attention of stay-at-home parents.

The bill could determine alimony payments and affect judges' rulings.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Keven Stratton, said it give parents who stay at home to care for the children more value in the eyes of the law.

Stratton said currently a judge is not obligated to take into account whether a parent is a stay-at-home parent when determining alimony.

Judges can certainly take it under consideration at their discretion but this bill would make it a mandatory factor to weigh in alimony decisions.

Some lawmakers opposed the bill, arguing that alimony should be based on need, not status.

Opponents said they are also worried about the fallout; some divorce cases are messy and they say adding this factor would create more problems, leading to more litigation and legal expenses.

“It's a small step but it's a reflection of policy that there's a value in a husband and wife making a decision to let spouse stay home with the children,” Stratton said.

After some back and forth and few comments from the public because of time constraints, the House Judiciary Committee approved HB 244 with a 6-to-4 vote.

It now moves to the House for their consideration.