How is child support calculated in Utah

Determining child support payments is crucial when parents file for divorce or legally separate.

When parents decide to terminate their marriage or legally separate, the children often experience emotional and financial repercussions of the divorce. Splitting a family involves making difficult decisions regarding the continued care and health of the children. Unfortunately, many children deal with financial changes as the result of the divorce, as some custodial parents struggle to make ends meet with a decrease in finances. As a way to bridge the financial gap that often occurs when parents get divorced, the court usually orders the non-custodial parent to make regularly scheduled child support payments.

Income shares model

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Utah follows the income shares model of child support. This model operates off of the belief that children should be exposed to the same financial benefits that they would have had if their parents had remained married. The income of both parents rather than just the non-custodial parent, is taken into consideration when calculating the amount of child support to be paid. This minimizes the financial effect that children may experience when their parents separate.

Other factors

Not only is the child support amount based on both parents' income, Utah Child Support Guidelines reports that there are other factors that may be considered when calculating child support. The judge who is preceding over the case may take into account the standard of living that was developed during the marriage, as well as the income potential of each parent. Furthermore, the judge may look at how far apart the parents live from one another, how old they are and how much each parent has contributed to the development of the children.

It is also important to look at the medical and educational needs of the children. In addition to the base child support amount, the court may put additional expenses on for medical insurance, educational fees, extracurricular activities and child care expenses.

Keeping the child's interests in mind

When creating a divorce settlement, setting child support or modifying a child support order, it is important to keep the child's best interests in mind. You may want to partner with an attorney who has experience in family law and who is willing to do what it takes to get your child the financial support they deserve.