Parental Obligations With Regard to Child Support in Utah
Child support issues often arise when the parents of a child or children separate and the relationship ends. However, even though the romance might be over, there is still a child who will need to be cared for long after the breakup. That is why Utah and all other states have rules and guidelines that must be followed by parents should their relationship end prior to the child reaching the age of majority, which in most cases is 18.
Ensuring that a child is properly cared for is a significant concern for the divorcing parents, but also a concern of the state, so much so that it takes a very active role in making certain that parents receive timely payments from the non-custodial parents on a consistent basis.Calculating Child Support
Child support orders are issued by the court. In cases involving unwed parents, there is an additional step that must be taken by the parties before support can be ordered, and that's to legally establish the child's paternity. Once that is done, the court will render a support order the same way it does in cases involving divorced parents.
Utcourts.gov states that Utah's laws include guidelines related to the issuance of child support, and there are three components that are used to calculate a parent's financial obligation. Those components are:
- Medical care
- The cost of child care-related expenses
- Base child support
With regard to pertinent medical and child care expenses, parents are generally required and expected to share the costs equally both in cases where insurance exists and in those cases where there is no insurance.Paying and Enforcing Child Support Orders
In Utah, much like most other states, the court system regulates when and how child support payments are made, and they make it quite clear to parents that all individuals subjected to such orders must obey them. If the court orders the non-custodial parent to pay support, it may also require that parent to setup an arrangement with the employer to have the relevant support amount withheld automatically from his or her wages.
Additionally, if the court orders that parents share time with the children, the custodial parent will not be permitted to keep the child from seeing the non-custodial parent just because the support payments have not been made. Instead, the parent should seek to file a motion requesting the court to enforce the order against the non-paying individual.
Parents who are faced with either paying child support or trying to collect child support often have concerns and questions about the law. That is why it is recommended that those with child support-related questions seek the assistance of an experienced family law lawyer.