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How is child support calculated in Utah?

When getting ready to initiate divorce proceedings, it is normal to have a lot of questions about what post-divorce life will look like for you and your children. Will you come out on top financially? Will you have the funds you need to pay child support or, on the other side, will you receive enough in child support?

To answer those questions, it is necessary to answer these questions: How is child support calculated in Utah? What does child support cover? What if, at some point, I feel I am paying too much or, on the flip side, receiving too little?

Calculation and what support covers

Every state has a set calculation for child support. In Utah, there is a base support amount which is determined by looking at the combined incomes of both parents and the number of children needing support. The state looks at all income sources, including:

  • Salaries
  • Social Security benefits
  • Bonuses
  • Rent
  • Gifts
  • Commissions

After figuring out the base amount, the court will then take several other factors into consideration before issuing a support order. These factors include:

  • Custody arrangements
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Any special needs a child has
  • Care expenses
  • Insurance expenses
  • Extracurricular activity costs

The list can go on, but you get the gist. The parent ordered to pay child support is not responsible for covering all of a child's expenses, but he or she will need to provide his or her fair share of money. Child support is meant to take care of any basic needs a child has, such as:

  • Shelter
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Schooling

It can cover much more if the parents have the means to provide more.


If you feel you are paying too much in child support or are receiving too little, you have the right to do something about it. The state does allow parents to seek modifications to child support orders if the circumstances are just right. If you think you qualify for a modification but are not sure, an experienced family law attorney can review your case.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to make sure your children have all that they need after your divorce. Regardless of whether you are on the paying or receiving end of a child support order, with legal assistance, it is possible to fight for an order that is fair and meets your children's needs.

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