It seems that divorce is never fair. In fact, divorce seems to be the most complicated and confusing thing one can go up against in his or her life. But wait until you start trying to figure out how child support is calculated in Utah…
Most divorcing couples have no idea how child support is calculated in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah, and this is part of the reason why they end up with the kind of child support arrangement they were prepared for neither financially nor emotionally.
Some people may think that child support is calculated based on the income of both parents, the number of children, and their custody arrangement, but in reality, there is so much more that’s going on when Utah courts determine child support. So you may be surprised to find out what factors are actually taken into account.
Today, we asked our Salt Lake City child support attorney Emy A. Cordano to outline what kind of formulas and guidelines Utah courts use to calculate child custody, which is deemed non-taxable revenue.
How to calculate child support in Utah
Let’s start with the basics. Before digging deep to consider all factors and determine the child’s best interests, a family court will examine the gross income of both parents separately.
The gross income of a parent includes income from all the sources, including salaries, rent, social security bills, and even unemployment payments and employments benefits. However, things like housing subsidies, welfare benefits, and general assistance are typically excluded from the equation when determining child support.
Fact: the average amount of child support reaches nearly $5,800 per year in the U.S.
If a parent refuses to work just to avoid providing the other parent with child support payments, or voluntarily takes a pay cut just to be obliged with lesser payments, or deliberately quits his/her job altogether – a Utah court will take into account the past and current earnings of the parent.
Another factor that is important when calculating child support in Salt Lake City and all across Utah is the amount of time each parent is going to spend with the child as per the existing custody arrangement, which can be sole custody, joint custody, or split custody.
Utah child support calculator formula
Under the Utah State Legislature, local courts use a certain formula to calculate the amount of monthly child support payments in each case. The following factors are taken into consideration in the formula:
- The needs of the child, including medical care, education, insurance, and if he/she has any special needs;
- The income and needs of each parent, but especially the custodial parent;
- The non-custodial parent’s ability to make monthly child support payments;
- The child’s standard of living before his/her parents were separated or divorced, especially considering the child’s financial needs to maintain the same standard of living.
Can you ever change the amount of child support?
The parent who is obliged to make monthly child support payments is legally required to pay without delay, and cannot pay less, only more, if he/she wishes to. The court must always approve the amount of child support payments if the parents agree to any changes in child support.
If the court obliges you to pay the amount that you cannot afford – or had been able to afford for a while and now the arrangement is putting a heavy strain on your budget – you can always request a child support modification, our Salt Lake City child support lawyers at the Emy A Cordano, Attorney At Law says.
However, you’ll need to be legally represented by a child support attorney in order to obtain approval from the court, as you will have to prove that the child support modification is justified due to:
- Your diminished ability to earn;
- The other parent’s acquired ability to earn;
- Your changed standard of living;
- The receiving parent changing his/her marital status or living with a romantic partner who can provide for the child;
- And others.
If the child support arrangement is no longer working out, you can request a child support modification. Seek legal advice of our attorneys at the Emy A Cordano, Attorney At Law to find out what’s the best way to do it in your particular case.