What You Should Know About Utah Child Support
Helgesen, Houtz & Jones has represented hundreds of divorcing Utahns on child support issues. We know how to help you.
Ogden divorce attorneys Keith Backman and Scott Nickle are ready to help you. Layton divorce attorneys Reuben Renstrom and Craig Helgesen are waiting for your call.
What You Need to Know About Utah Child Support
Prior to 1990, child support was a major source of contention in divorces in Utah. Child support award varied significantly in different parts of the state and even from judge to judge.
In 1990, the Utah Legislature addressed this issue by adopting child support guidelines. These guidelines are very specific and require the parties to provide certain information. The information includes:
- The gross income of both of the parents. If one or both parents has more than one job, child support is based on the income the parent earns from one full-time job.
- The number of children.
- If the parents are going to share joint physical custody, the number of overnights the children will spend with each parent each year.
- The amount of child support either parent is ordered to pay for children from other relationships.
- The amount of child support a parent would have to pay for children living in his or her home from other relationships if the children were no longer living with the parent.
All of this information is put into a child support worksheet and the worksheet produces a figure for monthly child support. This figure is presumed to be correct. The trial court can depart from the child support guidelines, but the court must provide its reasoning for any departure.
As a matter of course, the courts rarely depart from the guidelines. Using the guidelines makes child support predictable. In addition, the courts seem to be concerned that if they depart too frequently from the guidelines, they will be opening the door to returning to the old days of frequently fighting over child support.
If you have more specific questions about child support, feel free to contact one of our attorneys today.