Divorce is unfortunately common in America, leaving a lot of men and women with the responsibility of paying child support to their exes. It is an understandable law that ensures the welfare of children whose parents separate. Not all men and women pay back child support, but not without consequence. The state of Utah has laws in place to enforce child support payments, so no divorced parent should struggle to provide for his or her family.
Need Help With a Father Not Paying Child Support, Contact the Law Office of David Pedrazas in Salt Lake City to schedule a Child Support Case Evaluation
What Happens if Back Child Support in Utah is Not Paid?
More than 5.8 million Americans are behind on their child support payments. In fact, the US Office of Child Support Enforcement estimates that more than $10 billion is currently owed in back child support payments. If you are one of these people, you may be living in fear about when someone is going to come to collect more money than you have available to pay, or worse, take you to jail.
Contact a Child Support Expert
Our team of family practice lawyers can help you navigate this difficult situation and come to an agreement that who takes care of your kids and allow you enough money to be able to live. We are just a phone call away. Get started today by contacting the Law Offices of David Pedrazas at 801-263-7078 to schedule a consultation.
What Happens in Utah if You Don’t Pay Child Support?
After a divorce, child support payments are usually awarded to the parent who is taking care of the children full-time (the custodial parent, in legal terms), so he or she has enough money to provide food, clothing, shelter, school supplies, and other necessities of life for the children. These payments are part of the court decree and are not optional. If a parent who is required to pay child support payments falls behind on these payments, he or she will likely be ordered to appear in family court before a judge and explain why the payments haven’t be sent.
In extraordinary circumstances, such as a severe illness that prevents you from working, a judge may suspend your payments for a period of time if you file the required paperwork with the court. However, in most cases, if you haven’t paid your child support payments, you’ll be held in contempt of court and penalties will be added to what you owe. The judge might even impose jail time until the payments are made. The court and Child Support Services can enforce these payments in a number of ways, including garnishing your wages, placing a levy on your bank accounts, and intercepting your state and federal tax refunds.
Child Support Lawyer Utah
If you’ve fallen behind in your child support payments, you need a good child support attorney to represent your interests and help guide you out of your current situation. You might think that this is money you can’t afford, but the truth is that a good attorney can often help negotiate an equitable arrangement between you and the court so that you can get rid of that feeling of dread while working towards fulfilling your obligations to your kids and the court. If you haven’t yet finalized your divorce and you are concerned about what you’ll have to pay in child support, we can also recommend a good child support calculator UT, which will give you an idea of your future obligation so you can better plan your future.
Call the Law Office of David Pedrazas PLLC. at 801-263-7078 if you have questions about back child support in Salt Lake City, Utah
Added Costs for Past Due Child Support
Under Utah child support laws, if back child support necessitates collection action, the person owing may be required to pay interest on the overdue amount. He or she also may be required to pay a collection fee to the court for recovery of the past due child support. The interest, fee, and other possible charges per Utah Code 30-3-3.5.
In addition to the principal amount of the child support debt payment, per Utah 30-3-3.5, the court will order interest and collection fees to be paid, if:
- The court hands down a judgment ordering the delinquent child support payment.
- There is no current state or federal law prohibiting the court from imposing a collection fee on the overdue child support payment(s).
- The individual who is owed past-due child support has entered a contingency payment arrangement with an attorney for the collection of the unpaid child support.
Interest and Collection Fees for Overdue Child Support
If the conditions listed above apply, a court will order payment of the following:
- The principal amount of the overdue child support
- Applicable interest on the overdue amount of child support
- A collection fee for the amount of the attorney’s fee that is agreed in the contingency agreement. It is not allowed under Utah law for the contingency collection fee to exceed the least of the two amounts described below, A or B:
- The specific amount the person who is owed the back child support must pay in collection costs to obtain the delinquent payment, whether that is a dollar amount or a percentage of the principal amount past due. OR
- 40 percent of the principal amount of overdue child support
- Any court costs incurred as part of the process for obtaining a judgment as described above in the process of the collection action through the court.
- Reasonable attorney’s fees for collecting the unpaid child support
When Is a Collection Fee for Late Child Support Ordered?
A collection fee is added to the amount the debtor owes back child support when the payee enters into an agreement with a lawyer to collect the overdue payment(s).
The collection fee required under Code 30-3-3.5 does not include other obligations that may be incurred for reasonable attorney fees charged for work in the collection process.
NOTE: The Utah Office of Recovery (ORS) is prohibited from collecting an order issued in pursuit of the process described above for recovery of the delinquent child support payment(s) in question.
Frequently Asked Questions About Child Support in Utah
If the court does not find an inability to pay, the offending parent will most likely be ruled in contempt of court, with additional fines levied on top of the original ordered child support. This might include additional legal fees and even jail time until the parent complies with the legal child support order.
- levies on bank accounts,
- liens on personal property and vehicles,
- negative reporting to credit bureaus,
- revoking driver’s licenses,
- intercepting federal and state tax returns,
- garnishing paychecks,
- revoking professional and work licenses,
- suspending or revoking passports,
- and the redirecting any awarded monies due.
- Petitioning the court for a new, more convenient, payment schedule.
- Requesting a settlement with the custodial parent for partial forgiveness of the amount due.
- Requesting a temporary suspension on the accrued interest due.
- Requesting equitable forgiveness for periods of time when your child resided with you.
- Requesting a re-determination if you feel the amount owed is incorrect.
- Taking out a personal loan to pay the amount past due.
All of these options must be run through the family court system and approved before they can take place. Any one of these will, however, help prevent the court from taking legal action against you.
If you have fallen behind on your child support payments, we’re here to help you navigate the legal ramifications of unpaid child support and guide you through to being compliant with your divorce decree and court order. To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Utah family law team, contact the Law Offices of David Pedrazas today. Unpaid child support doesn’t have to ruin your life.
Family Law Attorney David Pedrazas in Salt Lake City Utah Will Work to Help Ensure You Receive the Back Child Support You Deserve
If you want to know how to get back child support in Utah, Attorney David Pedrazas can help. Utah has laws in place to protect the welfare of children in the event of their parent’s divorce, and they have the means to enforce such laws. At the Law Office of David Pedrazas PLLC, we can help you petition to have the court get involved in helping you obtain back child support. Rest assured, you are entitled to and will eventually receive your due child support with the right team on your side. It is always worth it to invest in legal help in such matters. David Pedrazas is a family law attorney with over 20 years of experience helping people through situations similar to yours. We would love to help you get on the path to getting the child support you and your children deserve as soon as possible.