Every parent has a legal responsibility to support the growth and development of their child. Whether the parents are together, legally separated, or divorced, every child deserves to receive support from both parents. Utah child support law encourages parents to cooperate and work together and put their child’s best interests in mind.
In Utah, child support covers the basic needs of the child, including food, clothing, shelter, medical expenses, and other living expenses for your child. Child support payments may also be used for daycare and school expenses, travel and transportation costs, as well as for extracurricular activities that help nurture your child’s talents and interests. Both parents have a financial obligation to their child, even if the biological father is not legally married to the child’s biological mother.
The monthly income of both parents is used to calculate how much you’ll need to pay for child support. There are child support guidelines and worksheets available, as well as an online child support calculator, to help parents compute their obligations. If you need help regarding your child support application, make sure to consult with Utah family lawyers.
Adjusting Your Child Support Order
If a change in circumstances affects your ability to make monthly payments for child support, it’s important to talk to an experienced child support attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you pursue a review and request for modifications to the child support order. Requests for adjustment may apply in the following situations:
- Change or loss of job of a parent
- Changes in child custody order
- Permanent disability of a parent
- Remarrying of a parent
- Short-term emergencies
- Terminal health conditions
Modifications can be made to either decrease or increase child support payments. Before requesting for an adjustment of the child support order, make sure to have a precise estimate of how the support order may change. Talk to your family law attorney to see how your current financial status can affect the support order. Once Child Support Services (CSS) of the Office of Recovery Services (ORS) reviews your order for child support, the adjustment made may or may not be what you wanted.
Enforcing the Child Support Order
If your ex-spouse refuses to pay their child support obligations, you can take legal actions to enforce the child support order. You can file a motion to court to enforce the order. An enforcement order will include judgment for the back child support or amount of money owed. They may also be held in contempt of court and ordered by Utah family courts to pay a fine or serve time in jail. Since this may be counterproductive, it’s usually treated as a last resort.
Do you need legal assistance about your child support order or application? Don’t hesitate to ask us a question! At Utah Child Custody, we have years of experience to draw upon to help you and your family achieve a peace of mind.