There are many considerations made when calculating alimony in Utah. The court may consider factors such as the earning ability of each spouse, the financial needs of each party, and the length of the marriage; but what about the cost of broken dreams? Can a court put a price tag on something like a failure to have children during the marriage? And if they could, should an ex-spouse be reimbursed for the lost shot at parenthood?
That is what one lawyer is trying to find out. He is representing a woman who, at the age of 38, does not want to lose her chance at motherhood. With time running out in terms of her biological ability to conceive, she wants to freeze her eggs. As part of her divorce settlement, she is asking her soon-to-be-ex to pay $20,000 to cover the procedure, as well as related expenses.
The lawyer explains that because the couple had unsuccessfully tried in vitro fertilization several times during the marriage, those fertility treatments should be considered a part of the marital lifestyle and maintained even after divorce.
There are likely to be opinions on both sides of the tracks. On one hand, some believe it may make sense to award alimony for eggs because losing a chance to have a child while married may be seen as a form of sacrifice. On the other hand, there is the worry that putting a price tag on fertility could lead to putting a price tag on other things, such as the price of a face-lift to make up for lost youth during a marriage. Either way, the outcome of this case will likely affect future divorces, as there has been no state case law on the topic thus far.