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Utah Child Support
Child Support in Utah

In Utah child support includes medical and dental expenses and health insurance, and the courts also order the parents to share day care and childcare expenses while the custodial parent is working or undergoing any training.

In Utah, either or both parents may be ordered to pay child support. The Utah Child Support guidelines are used to determine support unless the parents have agreed to a different child support amount, or the courts determine the guidelines are unjust for a particular case.

Utah child support is typically calculated by using a Child Support Worksheet. The worksheet generates an appropriate Utah child support obligation according to each spouse's income and other factors, such as taxes paid and retirement contributions. It is essential to take a look at deviation factors that may be applicable. Additional information about Utah child support can be found in the Utah state statutes (http://www.le.state.ut.us/).

Utah uses the Income Shares Model to determine the amount of child support the noncustodial parent must pay. The Income Shares Model estimates the amount of support that would have been available if the marriage had not failed. This estimated amount is then divided proportionally to the parents according to each parent's income. This is easy to do using the Utah child support worksheet. Pay records typically substantiate the estimated incomes.

This routine takes into account both parents' gross income and applies a percentage to it based on the number of minor children they have together. The court takes the combined income of both parents and works out the proportion each contributes. That figure is then divided proportionately based on each parent's ability to pay and which parent has primary custody.

If the noncustodial parent has a higher income than the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the greater portion of the child support obligation; conversely, if the noncustodial parent has a lower income than the custodial, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the smaller portion of the child support obligation.

The state guidelines are generally based on a percentage of the total gross income of both parents, the number of children to be supported and the percentage each parent contributes to the total gross income.

Child support is described in Utah Code Annotated; Sections 30-3-5, 30-3-5.1, and 78-45-7 to 78-45-7.5.

Calculate Utah Child Support

Other Expenses and Deductions

Extraordinary expenses are either add-ons, where the expense is added to the support payment, or deductions, where the amount is deducted, and indicated as either mandatory or permissive. Childcare and extraordinary medical expenses are considered mandatory deductions. Utah considers extraordinary medical expenses and childcare as add on expenses.

Child Support Enforcement

Utah provides for withholding child support directly from the earnings of the parent paying child support, much like income tax withholding.

Both parents find payroll withholding of child support easier and very dependable because the appropriate state agency receives and disburses payment to the custodial parent.

No more than half of the income of a noncustodial parent may be attached if he or she is paying more than 50 percent of the support for dependants of a second marriage.

When the payor parent is in arrears, the approved number jumps to 55 percent, then 60 percent for a payor supporting dependants under the current order, and 65 percent for a delinquent paying only under the current order.

The Utah Department of Human Services places liens on the property of a late or non-paying parent. The department can also place levies on bank accounts, intercept state and federal income tax return checks, and report late payments to credit bureaus.

More information about Utah Child Support Enforcement can be found at their website.

Emancipation

Generally, child support in Utah ends when the child reaches 18 years of age or the child graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. A child will also automatically be ineligible for child support if that child marries, is removed from disability status by a court order, or the child dies.

Deviation Factors

Factors for deviating from the guidelines include:

  • the standard of living and the situation of the parties;
  • the relative wealth and income of the parents;
  • the earning power of each parent;
  • the needs of the parents and the child;
  • the ages of all involved;
  • and any responsibility of either parent to support others.

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