Get Help with Your Child Support Order in Utah
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. Contact the law offices of David Pedrazas today for your FREE, no-obligation child support evaluation or give us a call at 801-207-9774.
Below we have answered the most common frequently asked questions about child support in Utah.
When is Child Support Established?
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.
How is Child Support Determined?
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.
How to Estimate Your Child Support Obligation?
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.
How to Modify Child Support Orders in Salt Lake City and Surrounding Areas?
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
Enforcing Child Support Arrears in Utah
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.
Choose an Experienced Child Support Attorney in Utah – Get a Legal Case Review
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.