Divorcing parents often worry about the future financial support and well-being of their children. While both parents want the best for their children, the issue of child support can often be a contentious one.
In Utah, child support is calculated by the court using statutory guidelines. Although the actual calculation process can be complicated it is meant to provide a fair and equitable solution to the divorcing parties based on the monthly incomes of both parties before taxes. The court is always governed by the best interests of the child standard.
Gross Monthly Income Is Determinative
In determining child support in a divorce proceeding or otherwise, each person will need to prove the amount of their gross monthly income through verification. Verification comes through pay stubs or employer statements and copies of completed tax returns from the most recent years.
Monthly income does not just include income from your job. It can include any other source of income including: commissions, royalties, bonuses, rents, gifts, prizes, dividends, pensions, social security benefits, or any other source of income. Each of these must be included in the party’s financial declaration in order to properly calculate who must pay child support and how much that spouse is obligated to pay.
Although child support payments in Utah are determined by a calculator there can be serious consequences for failure to use the calculator correctly and negative consequences for failing to report all relevant income.
Child Support Accountability in Utah
If you pay child support in Utah there is a way to find out how the money is spent. It is actually codified as law.
78B-12-218. Accountability of support provided to benefit child — Accounting.
(1) The court or administrative agency which issues the initial or modified order for child support may, upon the petition of the obligor, order prospectively the obligee to furnish an accounting of amounts provided for the child’s benefit to the obligor, including an accounting or receipts.
(2) The court or administrative agency may prescribe the frequency and the form of the accounting which shall include receipts and an accounting.
(3) The obligor may petition for the accounting only if current on all child support that has been ordered.There are a few requirements on how to find out how the child support is being spent or used. One, you need to be current on your child support. This is the same requirement in order to claim your child or children on your tax returns. The great thing about this law is it requires an actual accounting including receipts. This might be useful if you are going through a petition to modify or if you are reviewing child support as allowed every three years. This is a great tool to use in order to be able to argue against or for the Utah child support calculator.
For more information about Utah Child Support Laws, click here.