If you’re going through a divorce In Utah, Child support is handled at the state level. There are also certain child support protocols that you should be aware of.
Utah Child Support Calculation Formula Methods
Here’s a closer look at the two most frequent ways of calculating basic child support. A non-custodial parent pays child support on a regular basis to help with the financial support of their children.
When determining the amount of child support to be paid in court in Utah, various criteria must be considered.
A mutual support agreement between the parents can be used to settle child support out of court, or a child support order can be issued in Utah Family Court.
The payments are frequently set during the divorce process, though the sole conditions for claiming child support payments are the establishment of paternity and maternity.
If a non-custodial parent earns $2,000 per month while the custodial parent earns $1,000 monthly:
The court estimates that the cost of raising a child is $1,000 every month. The non-custodial parent’s is 66.6% of both parents’ combined income. The non-custodial parent should pay $666 every month for child support.
A Close Look At Child Support Laws In Utah
When computing child support payments in Utah, the state uses the “income share” technique. In general, it’s intended to ensure that both custodial and non-custodial parents contribute to the proper upkeep of their child.
In Utah, the child support formula directly accounts for parents who share custody of a child, and support payment levels are linked to the custody split.
Childcare expenditures, extraordinary medical costs, and education fees are among the other special scenarios covered by Utah’s child support legislation.
Keep in mind that these expenses may be in addition to the regular Utah child support order.
Parents can agree to pay more than the guidelines’ amount, but not less, and the amount must be approved by a court.
Although a court presumes that the amount specified in the guidelines is the proper amount of child support, there are circumstances in which the outcome would be unfair to either the parent or the child.
In such circumstances, the court will carefully review a series of factors and may make necessary adjustments to the amount, either increasing or decreasing it.
In Utah, you should know both parents adjusted gross income. The parents’ gross income comes from a variety of sources, including:
- Salaries and wages
- Income from a trust
- Alimony received
- Military pay
- Gifts and prizes
- Social security benefits
- Unemployment compensation
In cases when one parent is purposely unemployed or underemployed to avoid paying child support, a court can infer a greater income based on the parent’s past and present earnings.
However, income will not be attributed to a custodial parent who stays at home to satisfy a child’s specific requirements or if the cost of childcare is the same as the parent’s income.
It’s also necessary to identify how much time each parent will spend with the child.
There are other methods to divide parenting time, but the guidelines compute support differently depending on whether the parents have sole physical custody, joint custody, or divided custody.
Income Share Method
The court uses economic statistics to assess the entire monthly cost of raising the children under the income share method. The non-custodial parent pays a percentage of the calculated costs depending on their proportionate part of the combined income of both parents.
Percentage Of Income Method
This method of determining child support is simple. Every month, a specified percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income is sent to the custodial parent to cover the basic child support obligations.
In general, if the non-custodial parent’s income changes, the percentage paid may remain the same or fluctuate.
As an example, if a non-custodial parent earns $2,000 every month. The court will order a flat percentage of 25% of the non-custodial parent’s income to be paid in child support to the custodial parent.
Generally, the non-custodial parent should pay $500 every month in child support. If there are changes to the non-custodial parent’s monthly income, the amount the other party pays in child support will also change.
Will Shared Custody Of The Child Affect Child Support In Utah?
All states have a procedure for altering child support payments when a custody arrangement provides for joint or shared custody of a child between both parents.
The child support formula used to calculate payment levels in Utah law directly accounts for shared custody of a child.
Simply put, when custody is shared, the amount of child support paid by the paying parent is lowered in proportion to the period they have custody of the child.
How Are Extraordinary Medical Costs Treated By Child Support In Utah?
There are unique criteria in Utah for sharing a child’s extraordinary medical care costs, which are different from and in addition to basic child support payments.
The extraordinary medical costs are those incurred because of illnesses, hospital visits, or costly procedures such as braces.
The state considers exceptional medical care costs to be a “required deduction” for basic child support.
It simply implies that if the non-custodial parent pays the daycare costs, a portion of the total monthly childcare costs ascribed to the custodial parent is taken from the non-custodial parent’s monthly child support payment.
If the custodial parent pays for childcare, the non-custodial parent must contribute in addition to basic child support.
Challenging The Child Support Amount
In some cases, the overall amount of child support based on the rules or the way the amount is divided between the parents is unfair.
If you believe the child support amount should be increased or decreased before the court issues an order, you should request that the court make the necessary changes.
When you make your request, the court will carefully consider all relevant considerations, but will prioritize the following when adjusting the amount of child support:
- Standard of living and situation of the parents
- Relative wealth and income of the parents
- The capability of the non-custodial parent and custodial parent to earn
- The ability of an incapacitated adult child to earn or the child’s benefits
- Requirements of both parents and the child
- Age of the parents
- Whether either parent supports others
Collecting Child Support And Enforcement
After a child support order is issued, collecting the monthly payment from the other parent is quite simple.
Parents can pay child support in any way that’s most convenient for them, including cash, direct deposit, bank transfer, check, money order, or payment apps like Venmo.
There are also child support arrears in some circumstances. These are the amounts of child support owed to the custodial parent by the non-custodial parent.
In general, the state can recover child support arrears by wage garnishment, withholding of Utah welfare payments, bank levy, or other collection tactics.
Modifications To The Child Support Amount
After the court imposes a child support order, you can still request amendments at any time, but the process is different.
If the initial order was issued or modified less than three years ago, there should have been a significant change in circumstances.
Among most circumstances, a significant change is a significant shift in custody or a 30% gain or drop in income, although there are other possibilities.
Final Thoughts on Utah Child Support Calculation Formula Methods
Child support procedures will differ from one state to the next. Child support is a vital factor when filing for divorce, especially if you have young children.
Although the procedure can be difficult for most people to understand, especially if it’s your first time, these fundamental Utah child support standards will serve as your guide as you go through the legalities.