CHILD EXPENSES / TAX EXEMPTION

Chapter 11 Child Health and Child Care Expenses / Child Tax Exemption

Pertinent Utah Code. (See: http://le.utah.gov/xcode/code.html)

§30-3-5

§§78B-12-212, 214, 217

A Utah divorce decree will include in the order the assigning of the responsibility for the payment or reasonable and necessary medical and dental expense of the child(ren), including responsibility for health insurance out-of-pocket expenses such as co-payments, co-insurance, and deductilbes. The order shall also include a designation of which health, hospital, or dental insurance plan is primary and secondary.  In short, the court will order the parents to equally share the costs of any insurance premiums and uninsured expenses incurred for the benefit of the child.

In the event that child care is necessitated due to the work schedule of either parent, each parent is to share equally in that expense. The amount is to be paid monthly and written verification is required to prove the cost and the identity of the child care provider.

There is no presumption  in Utah courts for which parent should be awarded the child tax exemption. However, the court may consider the relative contribution of each parent to the raising of the child and the tax benefit that either parent would receive when deciding who should be awarded the child tax exemption. Federal law, (26 USC 152), provides that the parent claiming the child as a dependent is the parent the child resides with the majority of the time. The parties may agree to split the tax exemption, alternating the exemption every year, or any other way they may agree.

Divorce Note: It is important to note that the statutes described in this section also provide that when the parties should notify the other of the incurred cost and proof of payment within 30 days. If a parent does not follow the statute for notice and payment the court ‘may’ deny that parent’s request to be reimbursed or credited for payments. Review the Utah Codes linked above carefully. Make sure you keep records of costs incurred and keep the other parent informed with emails and/or texts with attached receipts to show the incurred costs and payments.