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FAQ About Child Support in Utah

If You Have any Questions on Child Support Contact The Law Offices of David Pedrazas

The child support attorneys at the Law Office of David Pedrazas have the skill and experience necessary to help you implement, modify and enforce your child support order in Utah. If you are a divorced or single parent facing child support issues, you need an aggressive family law attorney to make sure both you and your children receive the financial support you deserve to feel safe and secure.

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In Utah, child support also known as child support arrears is established during separation, as a mandatory order of divorcing parents, or when the Utah Office of Recovery Services (ORS) issues a financial support order after parentage is determined. Non-custodial parents are bound by a legal obligation to furnish child support for each of their legal children until the child turns 18 years old or upon completion of high school, with the exception of emancipated minors who are legally recognized as independent adults.
There are a number of different factors that the court will take into consideration when determining child support. The court will require each parent's adjusted gross income including income from salary, unemployment benefits, social security income, and bonuses. Other forms of income like retirement, trusts, investments, and alimony from a previous marriage will all be considered in the calculation of child support. While income will help determine the amount of child support, there are many other factors that may also impact the court's final decision. The amount of time each parent spends with the children will also influence the court. Child support deliberations will also be adjusted to compensate for the following:
  • The number of children will increase the required child support amount. A Parent is free to pay more than the calculated amount but, by law, may not pay any less than stated in the order.
  • Medical care for the children, to include special needs care, is to be shared equally by both parents. Medical expenses include deductibles, copayments, the children's portion of the premium and other uninsured medical expenses.
  • Work-Related Childcare expenses will also be shared equally by both parents.
  • Tax exemptions for dependent children are awarded by the court based on each parent's contribution to the cost of raising the child along with other factors.
Utah Code Section 78B-12-301 is Utah's child support guideline table used to determine a parent's child support obligation based on an established formula. The Utah Department of Human Services offers parents an interactive child support calculator to help parent's estimate child support obligation.
If there have been significant circumstantial changes since your child's original order for child support was entered, you have the right to petition the court for an increase or decrease in the amount of child support. Modifications to the order may be requested after three years from the original filing date. Utah courts have an obligation to review and amend child support orders that are in the best interests of your children. Here are the most common reasons a parent may request a change in their child support arrangements:
  • New Employment
  • Decreased or Increased Income
  • Increased Medical Needs
  • Physical Custody Changes
  • Emancipation of Your Minor Child
Governed by the courts, child support payment, and scheduled parent time arrangements must be obeyed by all parties. Arrangements for payments can be established between the parents as per the court order or may be enforced by the Office of Recovery Services (ORS), a division of the Utah Department of Human Services. Both federal and state law requires ORS to provide the following services:
  • Impose Liens and Levying - ORS has the authority to impose liens and levying upon money, property, and assets for child support in arrears.
  • Income Withholding - Requiring an employer to deduct child support arrearage from earnings.
  • Working With Other States - If the paying parent moves out of state, ORS will work with other states to collect child support.
  • Reporting Overdue Payments - It is possible to incur punishment for overdue child support payments by reporting the offense to major credit bureaus.
  • Filing a Lawsuit - The courts may intervene by entering a judgment against the paying parent with fines, jail time and driver's license suspension.
  • Intercepting Money - Federal and state money, including income tax refunds and lottery winnings, may be intercepted by ORS to be awarded as child support payments.
When a noncustodial parent’s adjusted gross income is limited, the court may use the low-income table to calculate the amount of child support the noncustodial parent must pay. A judge will need to review the amount of child support calculated and determine that the amount is in the child’s best interest. In a particular case, the minimum child support amount in Utah is based on this calculation. For the general table of child support amounts based on combined income, see Utah Code 78B-12-3.
You can reach the Office of Recovery Services directly for information about child support payments. To contact the ORS child support department, call (801) 536-8500. Set an appointment to meet with a caseworker to get answers to your questions about receiving or paying child support or other help with your case.
The court order or divorce decree handed down by the judge at the time of the divorce is the usual legal instrument for conveying the decision on child support. That order dictates the date and amount of child support payments to be made by the noncustodial parent. The judge may hand down orders for other stipulations regarding child support as well. For example, an order may stipulate how the parents have agreed that child support payments will be delivered. Or, a stipulation may be ordered for the non-custodial parent to request that their employer withhold and submit child support payments directly to the ORS. Consult with an experienced Utah child support attorney for information on the role of the ORS in your child support matter.
The Utah statute of limitations for unpaid child support is the date that the youngest child named in the child support order reaches adulthood plus four years. The exception is in a case in which a sum-certain judgment has been issued, which means the amount owed is not legally disputable.
Even a parent who is unemployed may be required to pay child support. The court can determine that the parent can earn a certain amount of money per month. The judge will therefore arrive at an assumed amount of income the parent can earn. Typically, the calculation is based on a work schedule of 40 hours per week.
Discuss how much you will be required to pay your ex-spouse for child support with joint custody, if any, with your Utah child support attorney. The number of overnights and the order for sharing physical custody will impact child support. There are several possibilities:
  • Joint Physical Custody: Your child(ren) will stay a minimum of 111 nights per year at each parent’s home.
  • Sole Physical Custody: Your child(ren) will stay more than 225 nights per year in one parent’s home.
  • Split Custody: Some of your multiple children live with one parent, and some live with the other.

Have More Questions on Child Support in Utah?

While our compassionate child support attorneys encourage parents to work together to acknowledge and establish a child support arrangement for the best interest of their children, we understand that sometimes you may need some help. The Law Office of David Pedrazas will guide you through the legal process to set fair child support orders, help you file for a modification, or aggressively pursue child support enforcement to protect your legal rights and your children’s best interests.

For help with a child support problem, call the Law Office of David Pedrazas, PLLC at (801) 263-7078, or contact us online to set a time to discuss your situation.

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