Child support is the process of receiving financial support from a non-custodial parent to help care for a dependent child. Often, child support is determined via a judge as part of a separation or divorce dispute, but a filing parent does not have to be married to request child support for their child. If paternity is a concern, you may file a request with the court for a paternity test that will determine if the child is actually yours before having a child support order calculated and fulfilled.
Parents are legally obligated to financially assist throughout the life of their children and a court-issued child support order binds you by law in doing so. If a child support order is not followed, it can be enforced by law. The below FAQ’s can help educate you further on child support in Utah, how it works and what your options are.
When you have experienced counsel on your side, it will aid in getting you the best results through the Utah child support system. Contact Wall & Wall Attorneys at Law to help you through the process.
There are three specific guidelines that have been established under Utah laws that calculate child support amounts. The three factors are:
- General child support
- Medical Expenses
- Child Care Expenses
Medical and work-related child care expenses are equally split between both parents in each child support determination. The Utah child support system offers a calculator and forms on their website to help parents calculate what their child support amounts may be before they go to court. Your lawyer can also help you in calculating the amount you may have to pay, or as a custodial parent- that you would receive.
You also have the option to request a modified support order (increase or decrease on either side) if there are changes in financial circumstances for either parent. This includes a wage increase, decrease and any sort of unforeseen financial obstacles.
In Utah, a parent is obligated to pay child support until they have turned 18 or until they finish high school– whichever comes last. There can also be instances where a disabled child is involved and the courts will order that child support continue after turning because the child will remain dependent on their parents for physical and financial care.
Are Parents Who are Divorced- or Living Separately- Legally Obligated to Pay for Their Child's College Education Related Expenses?
When under a child support order in Utah- yes- but as there is no true formula on how to exactly calculate college expenses, this is done on a case by case basis and determined solely by the judge. Any scholarships or provided financial aid should be presented to the judge as well to be factored in as they prepare to consider the support amount.
My Child Wants to Go to a Private College, but There's a Great Public College Nearby. Will I be Responsible for Paying Their Private Tuition?
The judge will consider these factors when coming up with the support order, so doing your due diligence and making a strong case to consider both arguments is important here. As with scholarships and financial aid, supplying the judge with this information will help them to make an informed decision on how to decide on the child support order. There may be cases where judges will not force a non-custodial parent to pay private tuition if public schooling is available and comparable for the child.
Will the Child Support I Am Determined to Pay Go to My Ex-Spouse, or Directly to the Dependent Child?
Child support payments are issued directly to the custodial parent of the child and are awarded according to the timeline that was initially determined in court i.e.- weekly, bi-weekly, etc. Payments can be taken directly from your paycheck via your employer, or through other means that are agreed upon via both parties, their lawyers and the judge.
When it comes to education, in some cases, it may be determined that the tuition payments will be issued directly to the school instead of to the custodial parent.
Contact Wall & Wall Attorneys at Law for a Free Consultation in SLC
Having an experienced attorney to protect you in a child support case is recommended to ensure that your rights are protected. We have a combined 190 plus years of experience in Utah, helping custodial and non-custodial parents in child support cases. Contact SLC Wall & Wall Attorneys at Law for a free consultation today.