CHILD SUPPORT

Chapter 10 Child Support

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

§§78B-12-202, 203, 204, 208, 209,210, 211, 301, 302
§§78B-12-101 etal.
Utah Child Support Calculator (See: https://orscsc.dhs.utah.gov/orscscapp-hs/orscscweb/action/public/custodyWorksheet/show)

Parent’s have an obligation financially support their children. Child support is based on the gross monthly income of both parties. The legislature has created a table that is applied to a calculation that becomes a child support order.  The child support calculation accounts for the number of children, then gross incomes of the parties, and the custodial arrangement (joint physical, sole physical or split custody – split custody is when some of the children live primarily with one parent and some of the children live with primarily with the other parent.) The calculation will also account for other children living in the household from a subsequent marriage, and other child support obligations paid by either party.

Gross income is income from any source, such as salaries, wages, bonuses commissions, rents, prizes, dividends, interest, alimony from previous marriages, Social Security, etc. However, excluded from gross income are Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicaid, Food Stamps and cash assistance under the Family Employment Program, in addition to other excluded incomes as set out in the statute.

If a party cannot verify his/her income, then income ‘may’ be imputed. Imputed income is based on the employment potential and problem earnings by employment opportunities, work history, occupational qualifications, and earning of similarly situated persons in the community, or the median earning for persons in the same occupation in the same area as found in the statistics maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  (Returning or attending school does not exempt a person from having income imputed to him/her.)

Utah routinely has the Office of Recovery Services collect the child support and disburse it to the custodial parent. There is a small fee associated with its service. It may be advantageous to include in your petition that the Office of Recovery Services (ORS) be ordered to collect and disburse the child support as then there will be a record of amounts paid and received should this be called into question in the future. ORS can also collect on Alimony and Health care premiums and costs if it is so ordered, and should be included in the petition.

Divorce Note: Visit the Utah Child Support Calculator (See: https://orscsc.dhs.utah.gov/orscscapp-hs/orscscweb/action/public/custodyWorksheet/show)  to compare different scenarios for child support computations. Child support is one of the most fought over issues in divorces and should not be used as a tool to deny parent time or to request more parent time to either augment or diminish the child support amount.