Child support is a contentious issue among many former spouses or romantic partners. Many paying parents are distrustful about what their payments go toward, while many receiving parents find themselves frustrated by low, late, or missing payments. Let’s discuss what you need to know about child support in Utah and what you can do if your ex is not following court orders regarding payments.
What Child Support is Used For in Utah
The main purpose of child support in Utah is to cover a portion of the living expenses of the child. This means that child support could go toward housing costs, medical expenses, groceries, clothing, or other necessities.
Child support may also be used toward the child’s extracurricular activities, day care, school costs, or travel costs.
Child support cannot be used on anything that has no direct benefit to the child. For example, a vacation the child does not go on.
How Much Child Support Should the Receiving Parent Expect?
Each state has different methods of calculating child support payments. In Utah, child support is generally determined based on the income share method. Using this method, the courts determine how much money it costs to raise a child. They then split this value between the two parents, making each parent responsible for a portion proportional to their income.
For example, the court determines it costs $1,000 a month to care for the child. The father makes $50,000 and the mother makes $40,000 for a combined income of $90,000. The father would be responsible for paying about $555 a month in child support, while the mother would be expected to cover the other $445 dollars.
It’s important to note that each child support case is different. While the income method is a popular way of determining child support in Utah, there are other factors that can affect child support orders. Both parent’s incomes, earning potentials, and more will be considered when the judge determines a final child support order.
Legal Options If You Aren’t Receiving Child Support Payments
Life has gotten quite expensive over the last year and child support payments are even more important to help fund your child’s care. If you are not receiving the payments that were ordered, you can notify the court. If your ex has consistently been skipping payments, you may file a notice with the court and ask them to enforce the orders. This can be intimidating to do alone - our child support attorneys at Lokken & Putnam, P.C. can help you through the process and be your advocate.
Once the court has been notified that your ex is not fulfilling their financial obligations, they can take action. They may hold the paying parent in contempt for violating the court orders and not paying child support. This can result in the parent going to jail if they do not make the outstanding payments quickly. The court may also take other routes to getting the money, such as wage garnishment. If this occurs, the child support will be pulled from the parent’s paycheck before they are paid.
What You Should Not Do If Awaiting Child Support Payments
Some parents attempt to take matters into their own hands in order to get child support payments. However, there are some things that we advise you not to do.
First, do not withhold visitation. If the court has set up custody and visitation orders, you must follow them. If you do not, you too could be held in contempt. Visitation and child support are not mutually exclusive. Even if your ex is not following court orders, you should continue to.
Second, do not threaten or confront your child’s other parent. The situation could quickly escalate, become dangerous, or be used against you in future legal matters.
Third, don’t give up. If you have legally binding child support orders, you are entitled to receive those payments for the wellbeing of your children. A child support attorney can help you navigate your case, hold your child’s other parent responsible, and fight for you to get the funds you need.
Salt Lake City Child Support Attorneys
If you have run into issues with your current child support order, contact Lokken & Putnam, P.C. today. We can help you navigate this matter, along with any other pending family law issues you are facing. Reach us at (801) 829-9783 or click here to contact us online.