Donovan v. Donovan

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Donovan v. Donovan. Filed March 25, 1999 IN THE UTAH COURT OF APPEALS


Diane Donovan,
Plaintiff and Appellant,


Charles E. Donovan,
Defendant and Appellee.

(Not For Official Publication)

Case No. 981029-CA

March 25, 1999
  1999 UT App 093 -----

Third District, Coalville Department
The Honorable William B. Bohling

Diane Donovan, Park City, Appellant Pro Se
Ellen M. Maycock, Salt Lake City, for Appellee


Before Judges Greenwood, Billings, and Jackson.


Diane Donovan (Ms. Donovan) appeals the trial court's award of alimony to her and the award of income tax dependency exemptions to Charles Donovan (Mr. Donovan).(1) We affirm.

First, as to the alimony award, so long as the trial court's exercise of discretion stays inside the parameters set out by our statutes and case law, and makes sufficient findings, "we will not disturb its rulings." Thronson v. Thronson, 810 P.2d 428, 435 (Utah Ct. App. 1991). Our thorough review of the record reveals that the trial court considered the factors required by Utah Code Ann. § 30-3-5(7) and made adequate findings regarding those factors.(2) See Utah Code Ann. § 30-3-5(7) (1998); accord Jones v. Jones, 700 P.2d 1072, 1075 (Utah 1985). Accordingly, we cannot say the trial court abused its discretion in making the award of alimony to Ms. Donovan.

Although Ms. Donovan asserts the trial court failed to award rehabilitative alimony, the structure of the award shows that its purpose was to provide Ms. Donovan with rehabilitative alimony. Indeed, the trial court explicitly noted that the higher alimony amount for the first two years was meant to give Ms. Donovan time to adjust to single life, increase her income, and move to a new home. In light of the record evidence, we cannot say the trial court abused its discretion when it structured the alimony award in this fashion. See Thronson, 810 P.2d at 435.

Finally, a trial court's award of the income tax dependency exemptions to one parent or another is reviewed for an abuse of discretion, and we accord a "presumption of validity" to the trial court's award. Hill v. Hill, 232 Utah Adv. Rep. 16, 18 (Utah Ct. App. 1994). The record reveals the trial court considered the factors required by section 78-45-7.21. See Utah Code Ann. § 78-45-7.21 (1996). We thus affirm the trial court's award to Mr. Donovan of the minor children as tax exemptions.

We have reviewed Ms. Donovan's other arguments on appeal and determine that they are without merit; accordingly, we do not address them. See Wright v. Wright, 941 P.2d 646, 652 n.6 (Utah Ct. App. 1997).


Norman H. Jackson, Judge



Pamela T. Greenwood,
Associate Presiding Judge

Judith M. Billings, Judge

1. Ms. Donovan frames her appeal as ten different challenges to the trial court's findings and conclusions. However, we conclude that they are, with the exception of the tax-exemption issue, all related to the general award of alimony.

2. The trial court did not make explicit findings about the length of the parties' marriage as it relates to the duration of alimony. However, the record reveals that this issue was discussed extensively. See Hall v. Hall, 858 P.2d 1018, 1025 (Utah Ct. App. 1993) (stating this court may infer "[u]nstated findings . . . if it is reasonable to assume" trial court must have done so in arriving at its resolution of matter). Here, the trial court also considered the temporary alimony Mr. Donovan had been paying for over two years, and the total alimony award does not exceed the mandate of section 30-3-5(7)(h) that alimony not be ordered for a period longer than the length of the marriage. See Utah Code Ann. § 30-3-5-(7)(h) (1998).