Utah Child Support Calculator
According to Utah law, both parents have to support their child/children financially. However, the amount of support that either parent pays will depend on their income, the number of children involved, and the custody arrangement.
It can be a bit tricky to work out the exact amount of child support on your own because there are multiple factors that impact it. Fortunately, parents can use the Utah child support calculator to estimate their support obligation. In the end, though, a judge will determine the final child support amount.
Keep in mind that the Utah Child Support Guidelines are a formula with which to try and determine an amount. The parents involved can agree to pay more than the suggested amount, or less. A court will have to approve the amount that the parents are willing to pay. Courts normally assume that the child support amount given by the guidelines is the most appropriate amount. However, it is possible that the result would be unfair to the child or parent. If that is the case, the court will review factors and make any necessary adjustments.
Making Use of the Utah Child Support Guidelines
If you want to make use of the Utah Child Support Guidelines, you will have to know the adjusted gross incomes of the parents involved. There are several sources from which a parent’s income could be. These are:
- Wages and Salaries
- Military Pay
- Alimony Payments
- Income From Trusts
- Gifts and Prizes
- Social Security Benefits
- Unemployment Compensation
Note that there are some benefits that can be omitted, such as welfare benefits, general assistance and housing subsidies.
Should you need an in-depth list of what you should include in your calculations, check out the Utah Code § 78B-12-203 (2020).
If a parent is unemployed or underemployed to avoid paying child support, a court can get involved.
The court can assign a higher income based on the parent in question’s past and current earnings.
However, income won’t be assigned to a custodial parent who is staying home to take care of the child and meet their needs. This is also applicable if childcare costs are the same as the parent’s income.
The time that each parent will spend with the child needs to be kept in mind as well. There are several that time can be shared. The guidelines have a different calculation when it comes to parents with sole custody. There is an obvious difference between sole custody, joint custody and split custody.
For more information on these custody differences and how it affects child support, you can read more on the Utah Courts Website. There is a section on parent-time and custody.
Changes the Child Support Amount in Utah
When a child support order has been decided upon, a parent can ask the court to make changes at any time. This will call for a different process though.
If it has been three years or less since the original order, there has to be major changes in circumstances to warrant the request. Normally, a significant shift in custody or change in income. There can be other reasons as well.
If an order has been effective for more than three years, the court will be more likely to make the requested changes. For more information, read up on it under the Grounds to Modify Child Support section of the Utah Courts website.
Frequently Asked Questions about Child Support in Utah
Where to get help with child support problems?
You can find assistance at the Utah Department of Human Services Office of Recovery Services (ORS).
There, you will find support for all citizens of the state. They will be able to help find an absent parent, establish paternity and child support, enforce orders and make changes to child support orders.
Who does ORS help?
You will find that ORS services are available to any family that receives public assistance. If you need help but do not receive public assistance, you can apply for services with ORS. You can find an application at orsoac.dhs.utah.gov.
What tax issues should I know about with child support?
Child support payments are not considered to be taxable income. That means that the parent who receives payment does not have to claim the money on their federal income tax return. As such, the parent who pays cannot deduct the amount from their taxable income.
How are monthly child support payments calculated?
The Utah State Legislature has established a formula that is used to calculate monthly payments of child support. Factors such as the parents’ income, the child/children’s needs and amount of children are kept in mind when the amount is determined.
Is it possible to change a child support order in the future?
It is very much possible to desire a change to child support payments in the future. This may happen when a parent’s income changes or if a child has additional needs.
Will ORS be able to help me with child custody issues?
Unfortunately, ORS doesn’t have the authority to help families who have child custody problems. You should speak to an experienced Utah family law lawyer if you need assistance in a custody-related matter.