Parents have a legal obligation to support their children, even if one or both the parents are not seeing or taking care of the children. Just like a majority of other state laws, Utah child support laws are based on the idea that a child is entitled to benefit from both parents in the same way they would if parents were living together. Additionally, it encourages both parents to work together in maintaining a cooperative agreement between both parties that work for the best interests of the children. Below are commonly asked questions about child support:
In Utah, the child support is used to cater for the living expenses of the child. Some of the basic items covered by in the child support cover include necessities such as food, shelter, medical expenses, health insurance, and clothing.
Aside from the basic needs, child support also caters to the other expenses like day care, school expenses, travel/transportation, extracurricular activities and more.
In Utah, the amount of child support is determined using a tool known as a “child support calculator.” Based on Utah’s child support guidelines, figures are plugged into the tool, and the amount of child support is determined.
In case there are significant changes in either of the parent’s gross income, the child support can be altered to reflect the changes. However, any financial changes need the backing of official documents such as bank account, tax returns, or a letter from the previous employer.
You can move away from Utah at free will, but can never move away from the child support obligations. This is because relocation does not invalidate the court order. Also, all the states work in cohesion to ensure that the child support law is upheld.
To have your child support modified, you need to fill out your court forms requesting for a court hearing, have the forms reviewed, and file them with the court clerk, and wait for a court date. Since the child support is a court order, you have to fill in forms, and present them to a court of law for them to be reviewed.
Some of the common reasons for modifying child support include short term emergencies, change of the financial strength, remarrying, permanent disability of either parent, change or loss of job, terminal health conditions of either parent or a change in your child custody order.
Yes, there is. The Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) clause in the child support allows modification of the support payments each year depending on the economic indicators like the consumer price index.
To make the child support service easier and convenient, The Utah Department of Human Services houses a department known as Office of Recovery Services (ORS), which acts as an intermediary between the parents. Some of its functions include levying of child support, working with other states in the event one parent moves from Utah, reporting overdue payments to the credit bureaus, and identifying both parent’s employers.
Failing to comply with the child support guidelines is a contempt of court. When delinquent parents are taken to court, a judge may fine or jail the offender. It’s also common to see judges demanding for the delinquent parents to pay the outstanding balance before they’re released from jail.
There are two major ways of ensuring that the child support is a successful operation. One is by using the Office of Recovery Services (ORS), and by use of courts.
Also known as retroactive child support, back child support refers to the unpaid child support payments that were missed in the past. You have to get a court order to receive back child support.
The best route to follow is to check with the child support office in Utah. Here, you’ll be issued a statement that indicates how much arrearage you still owe. If it’s not correct, you can petition for the court to fix your child support obligation. If it’s right, you are obligated to pay the amount that is owed.
The two major payments methods include; indirect payment and direct payment. Indirect payment involves paying to third party institutions, i.e., paying for school fee to an institution rather than having the custodial parent do it. The direct payment methods include online transfer, check, income withholdings, money orders and banks transfers. Always avoid cash payments since they lack concrete evidence of documentation.
If there’s an existing child support order, going to jail does not automatically end the support until the court modifies it. If the jailed parent has income or assets, they may be used to cater for the child support. Some of the assets that might be considered include rental income, dividends, money from selling some of their assets and bonds.
While you do not necessarily require an attorney, divorce, marriage, child support and visitation are complex issues that are best handled by an experienced attorney.
For a Free Consultation Contact Utah Child Support Attorneys Wall & Wall Attorneys at Law
At Wall & Wall Attorneys at Law, we are located in SLC and have a team of seasoned and skilled attorneys that use their experience to help guide you through the child support process with ease. Get in touch with us today for any inquiries on divorce or family law related issues. Call Wall & Wall today at 801-948-2203 for a free consultation.