Parents have not only a moral obligation to support their children, but also a legal one that is enforced by an important series of Utah laws. Child support Utah laws are based on the core idea that children are entitled to benefit from both parents regardless of whether those parents live together or not or even whether they are/were married or not. The exception to this is that, in Utah, stepparents have no legal obligation to support their ex-partners children during or after marriage (but all biological parents are). These laws encourage parents to work together in order to provide the best child support services that are in the interest of their children.
That said, requested child support payments may not always seem fair and we know a lot of separated, divorced, and even never-married parents have questions regarding what they or the other parent is responsible for. The following is a look at the answers to such frequently asked questions we often get at our child support attorney firm:
Frequently Asked Questions About Child Support in Utah
What Does Child Support Cover?
In Utah, child support payments must be used for things related to the living expenses of the child. This includes both basic necessities, like food, shelter, clothing, and medical expenses, as well as general living expenses such as daycare, travel and transportation, and school-related costs.
How Much Child Support Will I Pay? How Much Will the Other Parent Pay?
In Utah, how much each parent must contribute to child support is proportionally determined by their adjusted gross incomes. A tool known as the Utah child support calculator determines each parent’s obligation using this starting chart. Note that the court may not follow this minimum child support calculator in situations where there is joint or split physical custody or where the non-custodial parent has an adjusted gross income of $1,050 or under. Furthermore, this is the baseline to find the minimum child support payments a parent must make and you can request additional allowances with your child support lawyer.
What Happens If I OR My Ex Refuses to Make Child Support Payments?
Failure to comply with child support payments once they have been ordered by a judge is considered as being in contempt of the court. What will happen is that the delinquent parent will receive a summons, be taken to court, and the judge can choose to either fine or jail the offender on top of a demand to pay the outstanding balance.
Do I Need a Child Support Attorney?
While not a requirement, an attorney who specializes in divorce and child support can be a huge boon. Child support is a complex issue that can be compounded if your ex or soon-to-be-ex also requests alimony and these are payments that you may be paying for decades. It is always a good idea to at least go through an initial consultation with a child support lawyer in order to see where you stand.