BLANK

When does child support end in Utah?

The two most common, main triggers for the termination of court-ordered child support in Utah are:

  • when your child reaches majority at the age of 18 years and graduates from high school, with child support terminating upon the event that occurs last (See Utah Code § 78B-12-219(1))
  • if and when a child becomes emancipated before age 18 if the child marries, becomes a member of the armed forces of the United States, or is emancipated by a legal action filed in court (Id.).

While child support can be ordered beyond the age of 18 and graduation from high school (until age 21, see Utah Code § 15-2-1), usually one has to prove a compelling reason for extending child support beyond age 18, such showing that the child has special needs and cannot independently support him- or herself financially.

Is it possible to terminate court-ordered child support obligations in Utah before a child turns 18 or emancipates? Not really, unless you are willing to relinquish your parental rights AND the other parent is willing to agree to that, AND you can persuade a court to allow termination of your parental rights and obligations.

And I know many of you have wondered about this, even if you’re afraid to admit it: if you think you’re in the clear if you managed to avoid paying child support until your child reaches the age of majority (i.e., 18 years), think again. Utah Code § 78B-5-202(6) provides that a child support order or a sum certain judgment for past due support may be enforced within four years after the date the youngest child reaches majority or eight years from the date of entry of the sum certain judgment. The longer period of duration applies in every order, and a sum certain judgment may be renewed to extend the duration of the order.

We should be more than happy to assist you with any of your child support questions and challenges. Please contact us to meet over lunch or in the office. 801-466-9277 | eric@divorceutah.com

Tags:

123 Comments

  • When my daughter graduates high school, does the state automatically stop making me pay or do I have to initiate the process?
    Thank you

    Reply
  • Divorce Utah
    May 6, 2016 9:27 pm

    Thanks for your question. If ORS (Office of Recovery Services) is garnishing your paychecks to ensure child support is paid, then ORS should stop collecting as soon as child support is no longer owed under the terms of your Decree of Divorce. But it wouldn’t hurt to check in with ORS a few months before the date when child support is to terminate and confirm that ORS is aware of that date and that ORS confirms to you (in writing) that they will be terminating the collection of child support after that date.

    Reply
  • I have heard that child support in Utah doesn’t end until the end of the month that the child turns 18. My child has turned 18 on July 1st. When can I stop paying?

    Reply
    • Divorce Utah
      July 12, 2016 3:35 am

      You have to consult the court’s actual decree/child support order to be certain, but generally:
      Utah Code Section 78B-12-219. Adjustment when child becomes emancipated.
      (1) When a child becomes 18 years of age or graduates from high school during the child’s normal and expected year of graduation, whichever occurs later, or if the child dies, marries, becomes a member of the armed forces of the United States, or is emancipated in accordance with Title 78A, Chapter 6, Part 8, Emancipation, the base child support award is automatically adjusted to the base combined child support obligation for the remaining number of children due child support, shown in the table that was used to establish the most recent order, using the incomes of the parties as specified in that order or the worksheets, unless otherwise provided in the child support order.
      (2) The award may not be reduced by a per child amount derived from the base child support award originally ordered.
      (3) If the incomes of the parties are not specified in the most recent order or the worksheets, the information regarding the incomes is not consistent, or the order deviates from the guidelines, automatic adjustment of the order does not apply and the order will continue until modified by the issuing tribunal. If the order is deviated and the parties subsequently obtain a judicial order that adjusts the support back to the date of the emancipation of the child, the Office of Recovery Services may not be required to repay any difference in the support collected during the interim.

      Reply
  • Denise Riehle
    October 18, 2016 2:54 am

    Ex-husband who is 47 years old, put in twenty years as a Police Officer and was eligible to retire, retired. He has stated that he isn’t going to work because he is going to live off of his current wife’s disability.
    He just sent me a copy of a print out with the Child Support Calculator from ORS showing his income as ZERO. The amount he is obligated to pay is $30 according to his input on the calculator. Therefore his check was for $30 in child support for this current month. $200+ less than what the court order states.
    There has been no petition to modify our current decree. Does this not make him in contempt? Will a judge look at his retiring volunteeringly while he is still young enough, able enough and healthy enough to work as a means to let him pay only $30 in C.S. because he doesn’t want to work and live off of his disability?

    Reply
    • Denise Riehle
      October 18, 2016 2:56 am

      BTW, our child is 18 but does not graduate from High School until spring 2017.

      Reply
    • A parent with a child support obligation is not allowed by law to impoverish himself as a means of reducing his income to zero, so that he can then claim he is unable to pay child support or simply no longer obligated to pay child support. So yes, if he’s quit working and claims that because he no longer has any income, he is in contempt of the court’s child support obligation order. Your ex-husband is free to retire and quit working, if he so desires, but he is not free to stop paying child support based upon the income he has historically earned, as ordered in the decree of divorce. Now there are various nuances to this question and answer, but this is a good rule of thumb.

      Reply
  • Ann-Marie Mair
    January 1, 2017 1:02 pm

    My ex, when we were going through the divorce, never once provided us with his financial declaration. I know he earns $132K a year as he sent me an email during our divorce about it, because he thought I would come back to him when I saw how much money he earns. He was wrong. My daughter turns 18 at the end of 2017 and her child support will stop despite her living at home after that and attending college. She will not be able to afford to support herself completely and I will not be able to afford her completely either. Our divorce decree states that child support ends when she turns 18 or graduates whichever is sooner, but in all honesty as a single mom with a 13 year old at home too, I need him to continue paying me for her. Is this possible? How do we force him to provide his financial declaration when we redo the child support calculation for my son? He has spent four years boasting about the bonuses he gets all the time from his work and I want them to be taken into consideration when the new child support amount is calculated. I am getting alimony and am not asking for more despite knowing that he can afford to give me more. What should I do?

    Reply
    • Ann-Marie Mair
      January 1, 2017 1:04 pm

      Sorry I meant the child support ends when she turns 18 or graduates whichever is the later, not sooner.

      Reply
    • This is a two-part question, so I will answer it in two parts:

      The 18-year-old “child”. Unless your 18-year-old is disabled or your decree provides for the parents to pay for college or some other kind(s) of support after the child legally emancipates, you are out of luck when it comes to asking a court to continue child support beyond 18 and her graduation from high school. I could lie to you and claim that there is hope, but I don’t realistically see any. Not even close.

      But if you based child support on an income for your ex that was inaccurate (and inaccurate to your ex’s advantage), you can and (it seems to me) you should seek a modification of child support to ensure the child gets the support he deserves from his father. If your attorney does not know how to get a hold of Dad’s accurate and complete income information, get a new lawyer. Getting that income information is relatively easy. Court rules require him to provide it to the court, not just to you. If he’s deceptive and evasive with the court, the court should have a big problem with that in its own right.

      Reply
  • My daughter turned 18, moved out of moms when she was 17, dropped out of high school at age 17 and now has a baby. Will my child support payments stop at the end of the school year even though she will technically not graduate because of dropping out?

    Reply
    • Unless your Decree of Divorce contains a provision that differs from that in the Utah Code, here is what controls the termination of child support:

      Utah Code Section 78B-12-219

      (1) When a child becomes 18 years of age or graduates from high school during the child’s normal and expected year of graduation, whichever occurs later, or if the child dies, marries, becomes a member of the armed forces of the United States, or is emancipated in accordance with Title 78A, Chapter 6, Part 8, Emancipation, the base child support award is automatically adjusted to the base combined child support obligation for the remaining number of children due child support, shown in the table that was used to establish the most recent order, using the incomes of the parties as specified in that order or the worksheets, unless otherwise provided in the child support order.

      This means that if a child turned 18 in, say, March of the year she is set to graduate from high school, then child support continues until graduation. But if she does not graduate “during the child’s normal and expected year of graduation, whichever occurs later,” then child support nevertheless terminates because “the child’s normal and expected year of graduation” has passed. Notice that the trigger is not “graduation” but “the child’s normal and expected year of graduation.” So if she’s 18 when the child’s normal and expected year of graduation comes around, that’s when child support terminates.

      Reply
  • Angela Carter
    January 23, 2017 2:58 pm

    Hello. If my husbands daughter moved out of her mommas house at age 17 and has dropped out of high school, in which her graduating year would be may of 2017. But turned 18 in October of 2016, do we still have to pay support to the mom who isn’t doing anything to help the daughter? And is there any way to get the support switched to the daughter if we do still have to keep paying it?

    Reply
    • You’ll think I am joking, but: please schedule a lunch with a lawyer for me and your husband. You are, of course, welcome to come along, if you’d like (and your husband’s OK with it).

      Reply
  • Hi. My husbands daughter graduated at the age of 17. She is currently enrolled in Beauty School. Her mom is claiming that he needs to pay for half of the cost of her schooling, even though he is still currently paying child support. She does turn 18 on the 2nd of March. Does he have to pay for half of school, or should she be paying for it with the child support she’s been getting? (He does all of the child support through ORS.)

    Reply
    • Thanks for the question. The answer to it depends upon what your Decree of Divorce provides. Usually, costs of schooling or training IS NOT an additional expense that a child support-paying parent has to pay over and above base child support, but your husband’s decree may provide otherwise. Does it? Would you like to review the Decree with me? If so, you are welcome to call and schedule a one-hour lunch meeting with me: 801-466-9277.

      Reply
  • Heres a doosy. I hope people wont judge. Theres actually a lot to the story but what happened
    i accidentally got a girl we decided to party with pregnant 4 years ago. Havent had anything to do with the child since then except paying 400 month. My current wife of 25 years and i would like to give up parental rights. Our natural children dont know and it would cause problems if they did.

    Reply
    • Divorce Utah
      March 6, 2017 4:40 pm

      Thank you for having the courage to post your question. You are not alone in your situation. It happens to a lot of people. Whether your parental rights to the child are terminated largely depends upon whether the mother of the child will agree to termination, whether your purpose in seeking termination is to avoid your financial support obligations to the child, and whether termination is found to be in the child’s best interest. This is an undertaking for which you will almost surely want to hire an attorney to help guide you through the process, to ensure you do not make costly and/or irreversible mistakes.

      Reply
  • Melody Pulsipher
    March 31, 2017 9:43 am

    My son turned 18 in February and was supposed to graduate in June. He was no where near going to graduate. He decided to drop out of school in March and go to adult education. Does my ex still have to pay til June? My son also works.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the question. Here is my answer, based upon Utah Code Section 78B-12-219 (Adjustment when child becomes emancipated)

      (1) When a child becomes 18 years of age or graduates from high school during the child’s normal and expected year of graduation, whichever occurs later, or if the child dies, marries, becomes a member of the armed forces of the United States, or is emancipated in accordance with Title 78A, Chapter 6, Part 8, Emancipation, the base child support award is automatically adjusted to the base combined child support obligation for the remaining number of children due child support, shown in the table that was used to establish the most recent order, using the incomes of the parties as specified in that order or the worksheets, unless otherwise provided in the child support order.
      (2) The award may not be reduced by a per child amount derived from the base child support award originally ordered.
      (3) If the incomes of the parties are not specified in the most recent order or the worksheets, the information regarding the incomes is not consistent, or the order deviates from the guidelines, automatic adjustment of the order does not apply and the order will continue until modified by the issuing tribunal. If the order is deviated and the parties subsequently obtain a judicial order that adjusts the support back to the date of the emancipation of the child, the Office of Recovery Services may not be required to repay any difference in the support collected during the interim.

      You could argue that because the child–who is no longer a child–cannot possibly “graduate from high school during the child’s normal and expected year of graduation,” that graduation from high school during the child’s normal and expected year of graduation cannot occur, and so child support should terminate effective as of the date the child reaches the age of 18. However, because it would take almost a year to litigate the question, it would likely be cheaper just to pay child support until the date of the child’s “normal and expected year of graduation,” at which point both of the statutory conditions for termination of child support have occurred and there is no further basis for the child support obligation to continue.

      If you want to make the case for terminating child support immediately, I’d be happy to discuss it with you further. 801-466-9277.

      Reply
  • Child turns 18, then graduates in May. It does not say anywhere in our decree that visitation has to continue, as child is headed to college at end if summer and is choosing to work all summer. Child would like to only visit for a couple weeks. Ex is saying law is visitation must continue through summer and he is expecting us to contribute to child”s travel to visit them. Ex will be done paying child support next month after graduation. It does not state this anywhere in the decree or anywhere in Utah law that we can find that support stops, but visitation and paying half continues. Are we required to pay for half of summer vacation visits (we had been doing prior to turning 18 and graduating, per Utah law us moving out of state years ago)? Is child required to do visitation summer after graduation and after turning 18? Could you site any answers either way? Thank you for your help.

    Reply
    • The reason your decree does not provide for visitation after the child reaches adulthood is because a child is no longer a child after the age of 18, but an adult. Children are not subject to visitation or parent-time orders, meaning that after a child reaches adulthood, his/her parents no longer have the right to demand vistation or parent-time with the child and cannot demand that the other parent “comply” with an order that no longer applies. Besides, neither parent has the legal right or power to compel an adult to go spend time with the other parent or to make that child spend time with himself or herself.

      It’s arguable whether an adult who has not yet graduated from high school can be compelled to comply with a visitation or parent-time order. I would argue, for the reasons given above, that an adult–even an adult in high school–cannot be compelled to comply with a visitation or parent-time order that applies only to minor children, even when the custodial parent is receiving child support for the “newly minted” adult child of the marriage.

      Unless your decree of divorce provides something different, the sections of the Utah Code that governs termination of child support are these:

      Utah Code Section 78B-12-219. Adjustment when child becomes emancipated.

      (1) When a child becomes 18 years of age or graduates from high school during the child’s normal and expected year of graduation, whichever occurs later, or if the child dies, marries, becomes a member of the armed forces of the United States, or is emancipated in accordance with Title 78A, Chapter 6, Part 8, Emancipation, the base child support award is automatically adjusted to the base combined child support obligation for the remaining number of children due child support, shown in the table that was used to establish the most recent order, using the incomes of the parties as specified in that order or the worksheets, unless otherwise provided in the child support order.

      (2) The award may not be reduced by a per child amount derived from the base child support award originally ordered.

      (3) If the incomes of the parties are not specified in the most recent order or the worksheets, the information regarding the incomes is not consistent, or the order deviates from the guidelines, automatic adjustment of the order does not apply and the order will continue until modified by the issuing tribunal. If the order is deviated and the parties subsequently obtain a judicial order that adjusts the support back to the date of the emancipation of the child, the Office of Recovery Services may not be required to repay any difference in the support collected during the interim.

      Sometimes, if a child is disabled and is found to be unable to be self-supporting at the age of 18, child support can be ordered until the age of 21:

      Utah Code Section 15-2-1. Period of minority.

      The period of minority extends in males and females to the age of 18 years; but all minors obtain their majority by marriage. It is further provided that courts in divorce actions may order support to age 21.

      Reply
  • Jennifer Castleberry
    April 24, 2017 1:40 pm

    with two parents who are both remarried; a child support modification can take place. Question: does the calculator take in account of both married couples combined income or just the child’s mother and her spouse and the child’s fathers income?

    Reply
    • If you are asking whether Utah’s child support laws take into account the income of both the mother AND her new husband, the answer is no. Child support is not based upon a stepparent’s income, only the child’s actual parent.

      Reply
  • I have a 18 yr old son who just recently by 2 weeks had moved out into his own apartment for college. I get child support for my 3 kids. My ex father in law told my 18 yr old that i better give my son his child support portion and he has ways to finding out if i did or not he told my son. In our judgement it states that my ex pay child support and medical until 21 of age IF they go to school. which my son is doing. What are my rights in this?

    Reply
    • up till now the child support went to paying our rent to the house i reside in with the other two kids and also the car insurance so i can take them to the school and doctors and go get groceries

      Reply
    • DivorceUtah
      May 15, 2017 10:16 am

      Do you think it’s fair for you to collect child support for a child who does not reside with you and for whom you provide no personal care and support? Was such a circumstance anticipated when your “judgement it states that my ex pay child support and medical until 21 of age IF they go to school”?

      Reply
  • Hi, my son turned 18 last November and graduates this month. I have two children and was wondering if that means my child support will be reduced by half next month?

    Reply
    • DivorceUtah
      May 15, 2017 10:17 am

      In Utah? Not unless child support was NOT based upon the child support guidelines. The Utah Code specifically provides:
      78B-12-219(2):
      (2) The award may not be reduced by a per child amount derived from the base child support award originally ordered.

      Reply
  • My son turned 18 in Nov, set to graduate the first week of June.
    I now understand that the child support is set to terminate then.
    I pay child support since I chose to stay with my father after the divorce and care for him, he had Type 1 diabetes and his health was slowly declining. He’d already had a foot amputation and quintuple bypass within a year of each other. There was no room in my father’s house for 2 growing teen boys.
    It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made. My father passed away, at home where I wanted him, in my arms, almost 2 years ago.
    I’ve also been forced to retire, had 4 back surgeries within a year and I’m now officially disabled. I’m on SSDI. My ex husband makes, and always has made, quite a lot more than I do. I’ve always been on food stamps, even when working.
    I haven’t tried to modify the amount of child support and have been paying whatI can’t afford for several years. But now, since I was unaware I was supposed to pay through graduation, and my tax return was partially seized, and I can’t afford that.
    Especially since my older son passed away suddenly last year, there’s a lot of hostility between my ex husband and I. We do not speak any longer. The last time I tried to explain my financial situation, he said his income was none of my business, but he included colorful language. That was 3 years ago.
    Should I bother contacting ORS? Because I’m not sure how I can afford my last few payments, anyway.

    Reply
    • I apologize for the autocorrect typos, I’m on my phone.
      I was hoping there was an edit button!

      Reply
    • DivorceUtah
      May 15, 2017 10:17 am

      The unpaid child support will constitute a judgment against you that is non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. Your ex-husband can continue to intercept your tax refunds, garnish your financial accounts, and even have the local sheriff or constable execute the judgments against your personal property (e.g., take your car and sell it).

      Reply
  • So… If I understand all of these posts and replies correctly, either myself or my ex will need to file papers with the courts to change the amount paid for child support since one of our three children is graduating this year. One of us would need to get an attorney? Or can we file this paper on our own? But the amount paid should not change until we have court approval? Correct? Thank you for this clarification and confirmation on this next step in our lives.

    On another note, is there any way to ask the courts to ask him to help pay for car insurance, costs for school sports or camps, college applications, etc…? I have a neighbor that receives help on some of these things for her under age 18 children, but I don’t know how you go about doing these things or if it is worth the added expense of hiring an attorney to find out.

    Thanks for the advice!!

    Reply
    • DivorceUtah
      May 31, 2017 1:14 pm

      Depending upon how your Decree is written, you may or may not have to do much to modify child support to reflect the fact that one of your children has turned 18 and graduated from high school.

      Question #1:

      If your decree incorporates the provisions of Utah Code Section 78B-12-219:

      78B-12-219. Adjustment when child becomes emancipated.

      (1) When a child becomes 18 years of age or graduates from high school during the child’s normal and expected year of graduation, whichever occurs later, or if the child dies, marries, becomes a member of the armed forces of the United States, or is emancipated in accordance with Title 78A, Chapter 6, Part 8, Emancipation, the base child support award is automatically adjusted to the base combined child support obligation for the remaining number of children due child support, shown in the table that was used to establish the most recent order, using the incomes of the parties as specified in that order or the worksheets, unless otherwise provided in the child support order.

      (2) The award may not be reduced by a per child amount derived from the base child support award originally ordered.

      (3) If the incomes of the parties are not specified in the most recent order or the worksheets, the information regarding the incomes is not consistent, or the order deviates from the guidelines, automatic adjustment of the order does not apply and the order will continue until modified by the issuing tribunal. If the order is deviated and the parties subsequently obtain a judicial order that adjusts the support back to the date of the emancipation of the child, the Office of Recovery Services may not be required to repay any difference in the support collected during the interim.

      So, unless your decree is special or unique, child support automatically adjusts as a matter of statutory law. Just re-calculate child support for the remaining minor children to get the new child support amount. Remember: “(2) The award may not be reduced by a per child amount derived from the base child support award originally ordered.” (Utah Code Section 78B-12-219(2)).

      If ORS is involved in collecting child support, it would be wise to notify ORS (in advance and in writing, and keep a copy of the writing for your records) that the child who will be (or is) 18 and graduated from high school, so that ORS does not withhold too much child support after the child turns 18 and graduates.

      Question #2:

      If child support is awarded on a sole custody basis (not a joint physical custody basis), then you cannot expect your ex to “help” with expenses beyond the amount of child support your ex is ordered to pay.

      If child support is awarded on a joint physical custody basis, then you can expect your ex to help with expenses beyond the amount of child support your ex is ordered to pay because of this Utah Code provision:

      30-3-10.1. Definitions — Joint legal custody — Joint physical custody.

      As used in this chapter:

      *****
      (2) “Joint physical custody”:

      (a) means the child stays with each parent overnight for more than 30% of the year, and both parents contribute to the expenses of the child in addition to paying child support[.]

      So, if you have joint physical custody, does that mean that you can demand that your ex share the costs of the minor children’s car insurance, costs for school sports or camps, college applications, etc.? The answer is: maybe. If you and your ex cannot agree upon
      which “expenses of the child” you and your ex are to share in paying “in addition to paying child support,” you will have to file a motion to the court to order your ex to contribute. And whether the court orders your ex to contribute is, frankly, anyone’s guess. The more reasonable and modest your request, the higher your likelihood of success.

      Reply
  • My ex-wife got remarried to a guy that makes about 4x more than I do annually. Because of this she doesn’t have to work any more. I have continued to pay child support knowing that the step-parents income cannot be included in child support calculations. I may have misunderstood but I thought one of the purposes of child support was to provide similar living conditions for the children. This is obviously not the case for us. It seems a bit silly to be paying child support every month to them when they don’t really need it. Even paying a little bit less would help me financially. What would you do in this case, if anything?

    Reply
    • DivorceUtah
      June 14, 2017 8:47 am

      There may be one argument I can think of, and it is likely a long shot, although I would submit it shouldn’t be:

      Utah Code § 78B-12-210 (Application of guidelines — Use of ordered child support) provides, in pertinent parts:

      (9)(a) A parent, legal guardian, or the office may at any time petition the court to adjust the amount of a child support order if there has been a substantial change in circumstances.
      *****
      (b) For purposes of this Subsection (9), a substantial change in circumstances may include:
      (i) material changes in custody;
      (ii) material changes in the relative wealth or assets of the parties;
      (iii) material changes of 30% or more in the income of a parent;
      (iv) material changes in the employment potential and ability of a parent to earn;
      (v) material changes in the medical needs of the child; or
      (vi) material changes in the legal responsibilities of either parent for the support of others.

      (emphasis added)

      If your ex-wife’s new husband makes four times your income AND the amount he earns is by any reasonable standard “more than enough” (i.e., they have all the money they need to survive, plus plenty to spare), then in light of the provisions of Utah Code § 78B-12-210(9)(a) and (9)(b)(ii), one could argue that your ex-wife’s re-marriage to a spouse constitutes a material change in the relative wealth and assets of you and your ex-wife. The argument, as you hinted at, would be something like this: when in the custody of their mother and her new husband the children enjoy a material lifestyle that is not as good as my lifestyle, it’s superior to mine. She now enjoys wealth and assets that are 4 times greater than mine, so why am I paying child support to her? She does not need my child support money to maintain her the lifestyle her husband provides her and the children.

      The problem you will likely face with such an argument, however, is this:

      1) Your ex-wife and her husband will claim (falsely, but there is no way for you to prove it) that the stepfather absolutely, positively does not contribute to the financial support of his stepchildren, so without you paying child support the children would be destitute during the periods when the ex-wife and kids are living with her new husband.

      2) it will be argued (correctly) that stepparents have no legal obligation to support stepchildren, even indirectly.

      So your thought of seeking not a complete termination of child support, but a reduction may be your most likely path to success, if there is any hope of successfully reducing your child support obligation to begin with.

      Thanks for your question. It’s a good question.

      Reply
      • Couldn’t one argue in this situation though that just as the bio father can’t just quit his job because he has a responsibility to provide for the children, so then does the bio mom. She also has to provide for the children so at the very least I would think you could impute her income at minimum wage.

        Reply
  • My ex husband and I have been split up for 2 years. We have two children together. But we have always had a mutal agreement with child support and visitation. I have custodial custody of both kids. The state wants him to pay me 358 in child support. I dont want to ruin or friendship and make things bad between us. So we agreed on 200 dollars a month for both kids. Is there any way i can get the state to drop the child support case? Or can we talk to a judge and let them know that we agreed to a certain amount and everything work out that way? Sorry if the question is confusing.

    Reply
    • Divorce Utah
      July 1, 2017 6:25 pm

      It is possible to get a child support order that is less than what statutory child support guidelines (guidelines, not mandates!) provide:

      See Utah Code Section 78B-12-210:

      Application of guidelines — Use of ordered child support.

      (1) The guidelines in this chapter apply to any judicial or administrative order establishing or modifying an award of child support entered on or after July 1, 1989.
      (2)
      (a) The guidelines shall be applied as a rebuttable presumption in establishing or modifying the amount of temporary or permanent child support.
      (b) The rebuttable presumption means the provisions and considerations required by the guidelines, the award amounts resulting from the application of the guidelines, and the use of worksheets consistent with these guidelines are presumed to be correct, unless rebutted under the provisions of this section.
      (3) A written finding or specific finding on the record supporting the conclusion that complying with a provision of the guidelines or ordering an award amount resulting from use of the guidelines would be unjust, inappropriate, or not in the best interest of a child in a particular case is sufficient to rebut the presumption in that case. If an order rebuts the presumption through findings, it is considered a deviated order.
      (4) The following shall be considered deviations from the guidelines, if:
      (a) the order includes a written finding that it is a deviation from the guidelines;
      (b) the guidelines worksheet has:
      (i) the box checked for a deviation; and
      (ii) an explanation as to the reason; or
      (c) the deviation is made because there were more children than provided for in the guidelines table.

      Reply
  • Sherrie Richardson
    June 30, 2017 8:56 pm

    My step-son has recently moved in with us. My husband still pays his ex-wife child support through ORS. My step-son will turn 18 in November, and is doing online schooling and should be graduating in 2018. Would we have to take the mother back to court to reverse child support? There is only one child involved.

    Reply
    • Divorce Utah
      July 1, 2017 6:23 pm

      Your husband should be able to argue that he does not have a child support obligation due to de facto custody of the child being with him now:

      78B-12-108. Support follows the child.
      (1) Obligations ordered for child support and medical expenses are for the use and benefit of the child and shall follow the child.
      (2) Except in cases of joint physical custody and split custody as defined in Section 78B-12-102, when physical custody changes from that assumed in the original order, the parent without physical custody of a child shall be required to pay the amount of support determined in accordance with Sections 78B-12-205 and 78B-12-212, without the need to modify the order for:
      (a) the parent who has physical custody of the child;
      (b) a relative to whom physical custody of the child has been voluntarily given; or
      (c) the state when the child is residing outside of the home in the protective custody, temporary custody, or custody or care of the state or a state-licensed facility for at least 30 days.

      Reply
  • I have a child who is developmentally disabled and will likely require some form of care and support for life. I am in the middle of a support modification (currently pro-se) to add language to extend support beyond 18. The definition of a child (78B-12-102 (c)) is not mentioned in the controlling order. My questions are: (1) What language do I need in the order to ensure support is paid beyond the age of majority? (2) Considering parent-time and support are separate legal issues, would visitation have to continue beyond his 18th birthday?

    Reply
    • Also, how is support for an incapacitated adult child calculated? Is there case law or a specific statute that addresses this aside from the vague language found in UT Code 78B-12-205(3)?

      Reply
      • Divorce Utah
        July 1, 2017 6:18 pm

        I am not aware of any other provisions. If this is helpful (although not exactly on point), Utah statutory law allows for child support to continue to 21 years:

        15-2-1. Period of minority.

        The period of minority extends in males and females to the age of 18 years; but all minors obtain their majority by marriage. It is further provided that courts in divorce actions may order support to age 21.

        Reply
    • Divorce Utah
      July 9, 2017 12:43 pm

      You’re on point to refer to Utah Code Section 78B-12-102(4)(c)). You will also want to refer to:

      Utah Code Section 15-2-1. Period of minority.

      The period of minority extends in males and females to the age of 18 years; but all minors obtain their majority by marriage. It is further provided that courts in divorce actions may order support to age 21.

      and to:

      The trial court has power to order continued child support until age 21 when it appears to be necessary and when the court makes findings of any special or unusual circumstances to justify the order.  Hibbens v. Hibbens, 2015, 363 P.3d 524, 2015 UT App 278.  Child Support Key Number 103

      Trial court did not abuse its discretion in terminating ex-husband’s obligation to pay child support for two adult children, despite divorce decree’s provision that support “shall continue until all of the children are no longer attending college”; one child was married, neither emancipated child was disabled or struggling with any special needs justifying extended child support beyond high school graduation or turning 18 years of age, and neither child had ever attended college.  Hibbens v. Hibbens, 2015, Child Support Key Number 390

      Authority of trial court, under statute, to extend a parent’s obligation to support his or her child beyond the age of 18 is discretionary and may only be exercised upon a finding of necessity and special or unusual circumstances.  Balls v. Hackley, 1987, 745 P.2d 836.  Child Support Key Number 103

      Any child over 18 but not yet 21 may be the subject of a support order in divorce case;  there is nothing in the law limiting such support to cases where child suffers from mental incapacity.  Jackman v. Jackman, 1985, 696 P.2d 1191.  Child Support Key Number 103;  Child Support Key Number 111

      Trial court erred in precluding testimony in divorce case concerning the support needs of the parties’ 18-year-old son, who allegedly had some physical incapacities;  trial judge’s refusal to consider the issue in the absence of mental incapacity of son, simply because he had attained majority, was not supported by statute. Jackman v. Jackman, 1985, 696 P.2d 1191.  Child Support Key Number 111

      Parent-time and support could be argued to be separate legal issues, but since both of them usually terminate at the same time, it can be argued that they are not necessarily all that “separate.” I believe you would agree that the law does not contemplate parent-time for a child after the child reaches the age of majority because it is assumed that a child who reaches the age of majority is also able at that care for himself. So I would think it equitable that if a child is disabled and dependent upon a parent for financial support, he/she may also be dependent upon his/her parents emotionally too, so I see no reason why parent-time should terminate, unless of course the adult disabled child is lucid and has no desire for continued parent-time.

      Reply
  • My daughter turned 18 in December of 2016, and finished her high school credits early (in January 2017) but walked with her graduating class in May of 2017. For child support purposes, when is she considered “graduated?” Should I receive child support through May, or only until January?

    Reply
    • Divorce Utah
      July 9, 2017 12:44 pm

      Unless your decree of divorce or other order of the court provides otherwise, Utah Code Section 78B-12-219 governs when child support terminates:

      78B-12-219. Adjustment when child becomes emancipated.

      “(1) When a child becomes 18 years of age or graduates from high school during the child’s normal and expected year of graduation, whichever occurs later,”

      Reply
  • So can you clarify for me the normal year of graduation? My son repeated 1st grade. He tested well enough from kindergarten to move onto 1st grade but once there with 28 other kids, coming from a kindergarten class of 5, he was not really ready for 1st grade. The school said they would have recommended pre-1st had he not already done one full year of 1st grade. Fast forward, he is going into his senior year in September but turns 18 at the end of July. The ors is saying that child support is done. Also, I had the option of starting him in kindergarten a year later but in the private, small school/preschool setting that he was in, he was thought to be ready. So, gow do they determine the “normal” yrar of graduation?

    Reply
    • DivorceUtah
      July 31, 2017 1:04 pm

      Unless your Decree of Divorce or Decree of Paternity or ORS child support administrative order provides otherwise, here’s what the Utah Code provides:

      78B-12-219. Adjustment when child becomes emancipated.

      (1) When a child becomes 18 years of age or graduates from high school during the child’s normal and expected year of graduation, whichever occurs later, or if the child dies, marries, becomes a member of the armed forces of the United States, or is emancipated in accordance with Title 78A, Chapter 6, Part 8, Emancipation, the base child support award is automatically adjusted to the base combined child support obligation for the remaining number of children due child support, shown in the table that was used to establish the most recent order, using the incomes of the parties as specified in that order or the worksheets, unless otherwise provided in the child support order.

      This means that several possibilities could be in play here:

      It can be argued that after your son started 1st grade that he was “on the path” to graduation after completing 11 other grades as a high school senior.

      It can be argued that your son’s “normal and expected year of graduation” is calculated based upon after he started 1st grade for the second time, since he successfully completed 1st grade after the second time around.

      This issue could be resolved either way, but my guess is that because your son repeated first grade, but advanced when he didn’t have to advance to do so AND because he is still living at home and attending high school his senior year this year, I think a court would order child support to terminate the month of the year he is scheduled to graduate his senior year. If your son had a job and were living on his own his senior year, then the court would likely terminate child support then.

      But if ORS is not collecting child support anymore, and if the child support obligor doesn’t want to pay anymore, and if there is not court order for child support and just the ORS administrative order, then ORS is the final word on the subject, unless and until someone tries to get a court to order otherwise.

      Reply
  • For the first 10 years of my husbands divorce decree, he and his ex wife did child support between them, he would give her a check every month. Then about 2-3 years ago she started having ORS collect the money. Can she go to ORS and have it go back to the way it was where the two of them worked it out on their own? He has never been delinquent with ORS.

    Reply
    • There is a way to try to get the Office of Recovery Services (ORS) to stop collecting child support, but it’s not guaranteed to work; it’s at the court’s discretion and upon a showing of “good cause”. Collection of child support by ORS is a right the child support recipient can invoke under Utah law, if she wishes. That stated, Utah Code Section 62A-11-403 provides a way to ask the court to terminate income withholding by ORS:

      62A-11-403. Provision for income withholding in child support order — Immediate income withholding.

      (1) Whenever a child support order is issued or modified in this state the obligor’s income is subject to immediate income withholding for the child support described in the order in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, unless:
      (a) the court or administrative body which entered the order finds that one of the parties has demonstrated good cause so as not to require immediate income withholding; or
      (b) a written agreement which provides an alternative payment arrangement is executed by the obligor and obligee, and reviewed and entered in the record by the court or administrative body.
      (2) In every child support order issued or modified on or after January 1, 1994, the court or administrative body shall include a provision that the income of an obligor is subject to immediate income withholding in accordance with this chapter. If for any reason other than the provisions of Subsection (1) that provision is not included in the child support order the obligor’s income is nevertheless subject to immediate income withholding.
      (3) In determining “good cause,” the court or administrative body may, in addition to any other requirement it considers appropriate, consider whether the obligor has:
      (a) obtained a bond, deposited money in trust for the benefit of the dependent children, or otherwise made arrangements sufficient to guarantee child support payments for at least two months;
      (b) arranged to deposit all child support payments into a checking account belonging to the obligee, or made arrangements insuring that a reliable and independent record of the date and place of child support payments will be maintained; or
      (c) arranged for electronic transfer of funds on a regular basis to meet court-ordered child support obligations.

      (emphasis added)

      Reply
  • If the mother of my child and myself get back together and plan to get married how can we terminate child support?

    Reply
    • In my opinion, the easiest, surest, best way to terminate your child support obligation is to remarry, not to “get back together with the intent to remarry at some future time,” and then move/petition to terminate the child support withholding and child support order, retroactive to the date you remarried.

      Once you are remarried, then you should notify the Office of Recovery Services (ORS) of the remarriage (I’d send ORS a copy of the marriage certificate) and your wife/child support recipient should make a formal, written request to ORS (using their procedures) to stop collecting child support. I would also move the court (the court may require a petition in lieu of a motion) to order the child support award terminated.

      See also:

      78B-12-109. Waiver and estoppel.

      (1) Waiver and estoppel shall apply only to the custodial parent when there is no order already established by a tribunal if the custodial parent freely and voluntarily waives support specifically and in writing.
      (2) Waiver and estoppel may not be applied against any third party or public entity that may provide support for the child.
      (3) A noncustodial parent, or alleged biological father in a paternity action, may not rely on statements made by the custodial parent of the child concerning child support unless the statements are reduced to writing and signed by both parties.

      (emphasis added)

      Reply
  • I understand the norma expected time of graduation ut here is my question. My husbands ex is holding back my stepson . He should be goinbinto 8th grade and she wants to put him in seventh grade againfor no real reason. He gets all A’s and B’s. She wants another year of child support. We tried to say,no and use our joint legal custody and was told se can hold him back anyway. Since her reasonings are just plain crazy and he is too old to be held back for any reasons other than academics, will we havd to pay her another year until he graduates at his NEW graduation date?

    Reply
    • What a great question (what a wicked mother) If I were you, I’d file a motion for an order restraining mother from holding the child back. As you pointed out, there’s no benefit to the child in holding him back, holding him back will stall and harm his progress and likely embarrass him. I’d point out that the only reason the mother is holding the child back is because she believes it will somehow allow her to game the child support system by extending child support another year.

      Reply
  • My son’s father hasn;t paid child support in over a year. He now owes almost 7,000.00. He is self employed so nothing to garnish. Owes the IRS for back taxes so no tax returns to take. ORS isn;t doing anything to help us. What can we do?

    Reply
    • See about getting the State of Utah to prosecute the father for criminal non-support.

      If you have a case/account opened with the Utah Office of Recovery Services (ORS), contact your caseworker to see whether ORS will refer the matter for criminal nonsupport prosecution. Here are the Utah Code sections that govern prosecution for crimnal non-support:

      Utah Code § 76-7-201. Criminal nonsupport.

      (1) A person commits criminal nonsupport if, having a spouse, a child, or children under the age of 18 years, he knowingly fails to provide for the support of the spouse, child, or children when any one of them:

      (a) is in needy circumstances; or

      (b) would be in needy circumstances but for support received from a source other than the defendant or paid on the defendant’s behalf.

      (2) Except as provided in Subsection (3), criminal nonsupport is a class A misdemeanor.

      (3) Criminal nonsupport is a felony of the third degree if the actor:

      (a) has been convicted one or more times of nonsupport, whether in this state, any other state, or any court of the United States;

      (b) committed the offense while residing outside of Utah; or

      (c) commits the crime of nonsupport in each of 18 individual months within any 24-month period, or the total arrearage is in excess of $10,000.

      (4) For purposes of this section “child” includes a child born out of wedlock whose paternity has been admitted by the actor or has been established in a civil suit.

      (5)

      (a) In a prosecution for criminal nonsupport under this section, it is an affirmative defense that the accused is unable to provide support. Voluntary unemployment or underemployment by the defendant does not give rise to that defense.

      (b) Not less than 20 days before trial the defendant shall file and serve on the prosecuting attorney a notice, in writing, of his intention to claim the affirmative defense of inability to provide support. The notice shall specifically identify the factual basis for the defense and the names and addresses of the witnesses who the defendant proposes to examine in order to establish the defense.

      (c) Not more than 10 days after receipt of the notice described in Subsection (5)(b), or at such other time as the court may direct, the prosecuting attorney shall file and serve the defendant with a notice containing the names and addresses of the witnesses who the state proposes to examine in order to contradict or rebut the defendant’s claim.

      (d) Failure to comply with the requirements of Subsection (5)(b) or (5)(c) entitles the opposing party to a continuance to allow for preparation. If the court finds that a party’s failure to comply is the result of bad faith, it may impose appropriate sanctions.

      Utah Code § 76-7-202. Orders for support in criminal nonsupport proceedings.

      (1) In any proceeding under Section 76-7-201, the court may, instead of imposing the punishments otherwise prescribed, issue an order directing the defendant to periodically pay a sum to the Office of Recovery Services, or otherwise as the court may direct, to be used for the support of the dependents who are the subject of the proceeding under Section 76-7-201.

      (2) The order to periodically pay a sum for the support of the dependents:

      (a) may be issued with the consent of the defendant prior to trial, or after conviction, having regard to the circumstances, financial ability, and earning capacity of the defendant;

      (b) shall be subject to change from time to time as circumstances may require;

      (c) may not require payments for a period exceeding the term of probation provided for the offense with which the defendant is charged, or of which he is found guilty; and

      (d) shall be conditioned upon the defendant either entering a recognizance in accordance with Subsection (3), or providing security in a sum as the court directs.

      (3) The condition of recognizance shall require the defendant to:

      (a) make personal appearance in court whenever ordered to do so within the period of probation; and

      (b) comply with the terms of the order and any subsequent modifications of the order.

      (4) If the court is satisfied by information and due proof under oath that at any time during the period of probation the defendant has violated the terms of the order, it may proceed with the trial of defendant under the original charge or sentence him under the original conviction or enforce the original sentence as the case may be. In the case of forfeiture of bail or bond in any proceeding under Section 76-7-201, the sum recovered may, in the discretion of the court, be paid in whole or in part to the Office of Recovery Services, or otherwise as the court may direct, to be used for the support of the dependents involved.

      Reply
  • So I have a daughter who is going to be turning 20 in December and we are having our open enrollment at this company I work for and I noticed that she still remains on my insurance why is that? I am from Arizona and she lives with her mother who is from Utah and everytime I call the child support office there in Utah they always give me attitude! What can I do to get her removed from my insurance and stop having to pay child support for her?

    Reply
    • Thanks for the question. Please inquire with your health insurance company. Unless your divorce decree provides otherwise, you should have no trouble removing your child from your health insurance coverage.

      From Bankrate.Com

      “One of the features of the Obama health care law concerns health insurance for young adults. Parents have a right to continue to insure their children on their health plans until age 26. But this is a right — not an obligation.”

      See also: Young Adult Coverage at the Department of Health and Human Services

      Reply
  • My stepson is 19 years old, has dropped out of high school, his girlfriend is pregnant and has moved in with her family. Are we still obligated to pay child support even though he hasn’t graduated and doesn’t live at home?

    Reply
  • Does someone have to pay child support if there not phsyically seeing the child, have had any contact with the child since it was born, only gets picture’s once in a blue moon, has not talked to the child other then once in the 10 years since she has been alive .

    He lives in Marion, Ohio and has also been re-married for 1 year in Jan,2018

    Reply
  • I have two children I pay child support on, one is 17 and the other is 13. What happens when my oldest turns 18 and graduates H.S.? Do I continue to pay the same amount of child support until my 13 yr old becomes 18? How do I modify the amount I pay for my one remaining child?

    Reply
  • My ex was taken to court by ORS for Criminal Intent of Non-support because he intentionally wouldn’t work to pay his child support. The courts gave him time to get a job and start paying, but he still chose not to. He ended up serving 3 years in prison this. When it went to court, he owed around $64,000 in back child support. From what I understood, the back child support was then turned into restitution so it would not expire when our children turned of age.

    Since he was released, he hasn’t ever paid a dime. He still chose not to pay and it feels as though it was jist all swept under the rug. Our youngest is now 24 though, so is it true that this “restitution” should still be there? Or is this something that is gone for good? It frustrates me because I did all in my part, reported my income changes when I’d get a higher income, I paid all medical bills and insurance despite he was ordered to pay galf, etc. I tried and yet still got duped, and our kids dealt with very little and deprived of anything extracurricular and anything else a child deserves.

    Reply
  • My ex owes LOTS of back-owed CS and alimony. Right now, ORS Utah is collecting from his paycheck and sending the payments to me. I understand that when my youngest turns 18 and graduates, CS will stop accruing. However, chances are good that there will still be lots of back-owed CS. Will ORS continue to collect and disburse? Or will I be on my own to get the money I am owed?

    Reply
  • Does child support automatically terminate when a child becomes 18 years of age or graduates from high school during the child’s normal and expected year of graduation, whichever occurs later, or do you need to obtain an order from the Court?

    Reply
  • How do I get a lawyer for child support? Threw ors he owes 25,000 dollars and is his own boss. He hasn’t paid anything since may 2017 our oldest child is 20 our middle will be 18 in June. Our youngest is 15 he doesn’t see the kids doesn’t call no help with anything.. I don’t work I stay with my mother helping my daughter with my grandson while she works..

    Reply
  • My divorce decree states that I am awarded monthly child support of $400 per child til the age of 20 or moves out, whichever occurs first, and that the monthly child support should be paid one half on or before the 5th day of each month, and the other half on or before the 20th day of each month. My oldest daughter turned 20 on December 13th, and my ex only paid me $200 stating that he only has to pay until age 20, basically prorating the monthly child support, which I disagree. Pursuant to 78B-12-112, he is to pay the full $400, correct?

    Reply
  • If a child is adopted dose the parent (usually the father) still have to continue paying child support?
    Thank you,
    Arguing in Nevada where I live, Karl.

    Reply
  • My ex has custody but our son now lives with me. His mom wants me to be responsible for insuring him. How do we drop the child support order in order so that I can get insurance for my son?

    Reply
  • My step son turned 18 in October of 2017. He graduates May 2018. But he chose to drop out of school in January 2018 ( he was home schooled so no real graduation). Do we pay child support until May or until January when he quit school? Also, he has a younger brother who we pay child support for. My husband used the worksheets to figure out how much he would pay for 1 child. His ex said he had to go to court to change the child support. Is this true?

    Reply
  • My husband does not go through ors and they have never come up with a costody or gone through the courts to establish it. He just privately pays. Is there a way to insure he pay till 18 or graduated if she wants it to continue? She live a lavish life sryle already.

    Reply
    • I have bad news for your husband. He’s playing a dangerous game, whether he realizes it or not. Because there is no child support order and because he has no record of the payments he has made, and because the payments he is making could be characterized as mere gifts and not as actual child support, it is possible for the mother of this child to file a child support action against him and collect child support going back for years, even if your husband has actually been supporting the kids financially. The burden of proof is his not the mother’s.

      Reply
  • I have a couple of questions about when Child support ceases. I pay child support for my son (only child). He turned 18 in February of 2018. He lives with his mother and she has him enrolled in an online home-school program. If he were in a standard school (if he went to the High School in his district), he would graduate on May 10th, 2018. She does not enforce any type of structured schedule for him to complete the online schooling so he will probably not finish his senior year on time and may take until next fall or possibly December of 2018 to finish.
    1. Would my child support payments terminate in May of 2018 or do I have to pay until he finishes this program and graduates?
    2. If I can terminate in May, do I need an attorney to file any paperwork in order to terminate? (I pay my ex-wife directly and always have, with no late payments, we never used ORS. Plus, since the divorce, my ex-wife moved to another state and I live in a different state from my ex-wife and son and not in Utah)

    Reply
    • You can make a compelling argument that child support terminates on the date normally set for the child’s public school high school graduation. Because the Utah Code states that very thing:

      78B-12-219. Adjustment when child becomes emancipated.
      (1) When a child becomes 18 years of age or graduates from high school during the child’s normal and expected year of graduation[.]

      Reply
  • Crystal Chambers
    May 24, 2018 12:19 pm

    Hello, our decree states I pay $311.00 a month for our two boys, combined. (Let’s not get into the alienation and not allowing me to see the kids and denying vacation bc his attorney cleverly added “majority physical custody holder will decide disputes…so asking to see the kids was answered with “denied” bc he wants to do something with the kids that day….and they never do anything! ). My oldest swore into the military at age 17 in April 2018, graduates high school May 25th, 2018; and turns 18 on June 3. Because our payment was not set up on income, do I pay only half now? How do I inform him of the change and go about it?
    The decree says nothing. Also, he voluntarily left his place of employment a few months ago (they cut his pay), and is trying to start his own business; and has lived with his mother since the divorce – despite telling the court he would be self sufficient and the boys in their own home – 5 years now. He’s threatened to file for more support since his money is running out. Though has told me in emails and texts over the years that he doesn’t need my child support and puts it into an account. When he has not had health insurance on the boys, he has never reimbursed me for half of their insurance, yet requests half of school fees and and other fees.

    Reply
    • If you’re decree is a Utah Decree, your original monthly child support payment obligation does not get divided by the number of children it covered. In other words, if you have three children and you have to pay $300 per month in child support, your child support obligation does not automatically drop $200 per month once you have only two minor children left. The child support calculation guidelines take into account that it is cheaper to care for three children then it is important to, which is why child support is not reduced by simply dividing the obligation by the number of minor children.

      To find out what your current child support obligation is for one minor child, talk to an experienced divorce attorney. He or she can quickly help you understand what your child support obligation is now.

      Reply
  • I have an open case in California for Child Support from Utah ORS on a child that is 18 now. I owe no current support but I have past due support. Do I still have to pay on the past due? Can they still enforce the order?

    Reply
    • I don’t know what the law governing child support arrearage obligations are in California, but I know that in Utah that unpaid child support can be collected up to four years after the child turns 18 years of age. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if California has a law that is similar.

      Reply
  • My partner’s daughter turns 18 in 5 months and we are bracing ourselves for his ex to try to extend the child support. Previously she has used unscrupulous and fraudulent tactics in the attempt to gain additional monies. The child in question is graduating this summer and turns 18 in December. Additionally, she is able bodied and has had a job since she was 15. Based on what I have read about child support extensions, this should not qualify for an extension for support. With that said, I find the standards for extensions a bit murky and would like further clarification.

    Reply
    • Your understanding of the law governing child support and when it terminates is solid. Child support cannot be extended just because somebody wants it to extend. After a child emancipated by reaching the age of adulthood, the only way that you could get more child support for this child to show some special need on the part of the child. And even then, child support can only extend to the age of 21 years of age. What you need to do is read this:

      Utah Code Section 15-2-1. Period of minority.

      “The period of minority extends in males and females to the age of 18 years; but all minors obtain their majority by marriage. It is further provided that courts in divorce actions may order support to age 21.”

      Then you need to review the case law that interprets and construes this section of the Utah Code.

      Reply
  • My son turns 18 this December and will also have all his credits to finished to graduate early but actually doesn’t walk until May. My question is does child support end in December when he turns 18 and has all his credits done or in May when he actually walks?

    Reply
    • That’s a very interesting question. The general unwritten policy in divorce courts is to keep child support going for a child as long as reasonably possible. I can just see a judge or commissioner claiming that just because the child has completed all of his or her credits does not mean the child is yet a high school graduate. I can see a judge or a commissioner trying to claim that walking across the gym floor stage to be handed the diploma in May or June is what really officially constitutes graduation from high school. If you ask me, that’s bunk, but I can see it happening.

      I think a reasonable argument could be made that the intent of having child support terminate upon high school graduation means that we’re giving this child every opportunity to be supported by his or her divorced or unmarried parents for as long as the child is presumed to be attending high school and thus living under one or both parents roofs. So I think that if you tried to terminate child support because your child has completed all of his coursework but has not yet been handed a diploma, you’d probably lose that argument.

      Reply
  • I have joint custody of my son. He turns 18 at the end of July and will be moving out of his mother’s house and in with me around August 20th to finish his school year and graduate early in December.

    My question is will I need to continue to pay her child support until he graduates even though he will be moving in with me and my family full time? So August would be my last payment or December(if he graduates early). Thank you in advance for your help.

    Reply
    • If you want to avoid having to pay child support for a child who no longer lives with the custodial parent and has moved in with you, then the minute your child moves in with you you need to file a petition to modify the child support order to indicate a change in circumstances and to ask that your child support obligation be terminated. If you want to ask for your ex-wife pay you child support, you can certainly do that too, but you’re not required to do so.

      As soon as your son moves in with you, notify ORS, if ORS is collecting child support. Inform them that the child is no longer living with the mother and has moved in with you. You may also wish to go into your local ORS office with her son so that you can prove this is the case. Most of the time, if all you do is tell ORS a story that differs from what your ex’s story is, ORS is going to believe the story of the custodial parent. And you can’t blame them for doing so. It’s not their job to do these kinds of investigations.

      I would not recommend that you try to petition to modify child support on your own.

      Reply
  • My ex husband has paid child support but refuses to see or visit his child or contact me about his child in almost 10 months. I’m going to be taking him to court at the one year mark to allow my fiance to adopt him. If his parental rights are terminated and he is charged with child abandonment, will he still pay child support or will it drop? I don’t care either way, just a curious question I was asked that I don’t know the answer to.

    Reply
    • If the father’s parental rights are terminated, his obligation to pay child support terminates with the termination of his parental rights.

      Reply
  • I have a situation where my daughter turned 18 in October and graduates from school in May of this year. She wants to go live with her mother even though I have primary physical and legal custody. 1) Can she do this since she’s still in school? 2) will i now have to pay child support to her mother?

    Reply
    • Yes, I believe so, if the child is 18 years of age and cannot be controlled by his or her parents any longer because the child is now officially an adult, even if the child is not yet graduated from high school.

      If your child goes to live with her mother, despite the fact that you have been ordered to be the child’s custodial parent (and thus receive child support from the mother because of this), child support follows the child, which means that if the mother seeks a child support award against you, she would almost surely get it until the the child’s normally scheduled graduation date. If the child drops out of school as an 18-year-old adult, there is an interesting question as to whether you would have to continue to pay child support to a child that is not going to school and cannot be forced to go to school.

      If your daughter flouts the court’s orders and moves in with mom, get to an attorney as soon as possible because time is of the essence in these situations.

      Reply
  • I have a situation where my daughter turned 18 in October and graduates from school in May of this year. She wants to go live with her mother against my wishes even though I have primary physical and legal custody. 1) Can she do this since she’s still in school? 2) will i now have to pay child support to her mother?

    Reply
    • Yes, I believe so, if the child is 18 years of age and cannot be controlled by his or her parents any longer because the child is now officially an adult, even if the child is not yet graduated from high school.

      If your child goes to live with her mother, despite the fact that you have been ordered to be the child’s custodial parent (and thus receive child support from the mother because of this), child support follows the child, which means that if the mother seeks a child support award against you, she would almost surely get it until the the child’s normally scheduled graduation date. If the child drops out of school as an 18-year-old adult, there is an interesting question as to whether you would have to continue to pay child support to a child that is not going to school and cannot be forced to go to school.

      If your daughter flouts the court’s orders and moves in with mom, get to an attorney as soon as possible because time is of the essence in these situations.

      Reply
  • I was impuned income because I did not have an attorney, and even though I was a single mom with two children under the age of 4, I was imputed 598/mo child support for my two older children when my ex made over 75K per year and I made nothing. When my 5 year old turned 6 I found out she was disabled and had some mental issues and I was provided a letter from her doctor that I was to stay in the home to take care of her issues. I had to go on assistance as there were no jobs where I lived where I could take her with me and so I went to school to get credentials to do something from home so I could get off assistance. The state I was on assistance from contacted UT and verified this but UT refused to reduce the amount even though they had imputed the income in the first place. I have 3 review requests that I sent over the next 2 years and all of them came back that my situation was temporary and they refused to reduce it. They and determined I was to pay 30.00 mo, and my situation was the same as it had been for the entire 5 years, so why did they decide it could be reduced then, but not earlier. I have zero income for 5 years while I was taking care of my 5 year old and it ran up a 50K child support debt which I cannot pay. I went to school to become a paralegal and graduated in 2014, then got a job working at home. The State of Utah is corrupt and I need help fixing this. Can it be fixed. I have copies of all the denied reviews. I have copy of the letter stating I needed to stay home with my child and I have copies where I tried to file in court to get it reduced and instead of reducing it the judge tried to put me in contempt for nonpayment even though I showed them I could not pay the 598 and my ex was making close to 90K by this point. He has a slimy ass attorney and I could not afford one and I need help. To date I have paid over 10,000 from income withholding in the amount of 125.00 per month. IF they had calculated my income properly then I should have paid 3000 total until my 18 year old became emancipated and then another 1200 until my second oldest became emancipated. So, I have paid well over what I should have paid to date which I am fine with by I need help getting this erased so I can move on with my life. My ex lied to get that amount, said I made 65K a year when I was making 8.00 an hour. This was also right before the 2008 mortgage crash and I was not longer able to find work and had to get retrained in a different field. I also believe that this was impuned illegally because Commisioner Patton was my ex-s attorney during our divorce and they lost big time to Marilyn Brown. I know he had to of redflagged my file to stick it to me no matter what because everyone I talk to says what happened to me just does not make sense. Please help.

    Reply
    • Cindee, if you would like to schedule a consultation, I would be happy to meet with you to discuss your situation further. 801-466-9277.

      Reply
  • My son (13) has moved in with me because his mother has moved in with a boyfriend and “doesn’t have room for him.” (But the decree does say that the children cannot stay more than X amount of nights with anyone who is not blood or marital relationship. And she is not divorced from her last husband yet so marriage isn’t in the near future). My daughter (17) is pregnant and the mother told her she needs to get a place of her own now because she doesn’t have room for her either., so her and her boyfriend are going to live on their own. So as of tomorrow neither of my children that I pay support for will be living with their mom. In order to change support, do I need to file with court? If so would it be worthwhile as my 17 year old turns 18 in June? What are my options in this case?

    Reply
    • Yes, you should petition the court for a modification of child support based upon the fact that the children are no longer residing with the parent who is supposed to have primary or sole physical custody of the children. You should act immediately.

      Reply
  • My son is a senior in high school and works all weekend to assist with the rent. I have sole custody. His eighteenth birthday is January 2020. His father called me up, excited that he won’t need to pay child support any longer. But then I read he must pay “until the eighteenth birthday or the child graduates from high school — whichever is the latter.” Since he does not pay through the ORS, and I certainly cannot afford to take him back to court, am I screwed? I work between 50 and 60 hrs per week and cannot afford the time of standing in the ORS office shuffling papers for days. He may be counting on this. Is there any additional recourse?

    Reply
    • Just because you don’t have an ORS account set up now does not mean you cannot set one up now. Especially if your ex is not self-employed, having ORS garnished his paycheck is a quick, easy, and highly reliable way to ensure that he continues to pay child support beyond the child’s 18th birthday up until the point of date the child’s normal and expected graduation from high school. Now if your ex is self-employed, there’s not a whole lot that ORS can do to help you collect monthly base child support payments.

      But if your ex is employed by a third party, then I would set up and ORS account to collect child support directly from the employer through the garnishment of your ex’s wages. Here’s the website and the phone number:

      https://ors.utah.gov
      https://ors.utah.gov/contact_us.htm

      Reply
  • To be clear, the wording on my divorce decree is:
    “Unless the Court orders otherwise, support for each child terminates at the time: (1) a child
    becomes 18 years of age or has graduated from high school during the child’s normal and expected date of graduation, whichever occurs later; or (2) a child dies, marries, becomes a member of the armed forces of the United States, or is emancipated.”

    Which sounds the same as Utah Code Section 78B-12-219. My question is, if my child is 18 this year, and was expected to graduate but has not yet, am I responsible for continuing to pay until they are graduated? Also, do I have to file a petition to modify or is the automatic adjustment immediate upon the date the criteria are met? Meaning I can start paying the lower amount (I have 4 children, so adjusting down to 3/4 of the original support amount).

    For some reason I was thinking I still had to file a petition to modify, but it sounds like I may not have to if I’m reading comments and the rules correctly…

    Reply
    • I don’t see any need for a petition to modify child support based upon the language of your decree. Is your ex trying to keep you paying child support even though the child has turned 18 and the child’s normal and expected graduation date has passed? If not, then what I’d do is notify ORS (Office of Recovery Services) that 1) the child in question is now 18; 2) the child’s normal and expected graduation date has passed; 3) there is no court order that child support continues beyond age 18 and child’s normal and expected graduation date. I would ensure that ORS is on notice and then notify my ex that child support has terminated per court order and that I thus no longer have a child support obligation for that child.

      Reply
  • My best friend is still paying for insurance and medical on both of his children and child support one one that is 15 years old. The other is 20 and is holding down a job on his own. His mother ( my bf’s ex-wife) is still milking my friend for every cent she can get, on top of child support, medical and insurance, she wants half of everything paid (ie: band, cloths, trips and whatnots) without giving reasonable time allowed. Though if he doesn’t pay her then he’s not being allowed to spend time with his children is this legal?

    Reply
    • Divorce Utah
      June 20, 2020 2:05 pm

      In Utah, unless the court orders child support to extend beyond age 18 (and extending child support beyond age 18 cannot occur except in exceptional circumstances), child support cannot continue beyond age 18 or the child’s the child’s normal and expected year of high school graduation. Your friend would likely benefit from consulting a good (a good) divorce and family law attorney to see about getting relief.

      Reply
  • I am a divorced father of a 24 year old son. Our divorce too place in Nevada but is enforced in Utah ORS since my ex lives there. My question IS. Obviously I owe arrears and wanted to know is there a way to buy out your order? What guarantee do I have they I paid all my child support that they will listen to my ex again and I won’t be done. I’ve already lost 20k of payments due to “insufficient evidence” and a crap lawyer who knew her lawyer
    I just want this to be over and move on
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Please give me a call if you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your question in greater detail. 801-466-9277.

      Reply
  • At what point does ORS close the child support case? Daughter turned 18 and graduated high school. They have stopped garnishing wages but they still owe me money for over payment. When will I receive that?

    Reply
  • n95 face masks
    January 14, 2021 5:25 am

    I love the way you break things down. Very helpful!

    Reply
  • Ok so if the father didnt know of the child and was told some one elese was the father the child is 15. And has a child of her own and i didnt take a paternity test until September of 2020 do i have to pay all the back child support when i have proof the mother is lieing to the courts

    Reply
    • Please give me a call if you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your question in greater detail. 801-466-9277.

      Reply
  • I have a child support order that is a deviation from the standard. The order also states that when the child is 18 or graduates from high school which ever is later the child support will be reduced to 1/2 the amount for the remaining child, which will be for an additional year. I spoke to ORS about the reduction when child one turn 18 soon and they said the order will stay the same and they will not reduce it because it is a deviation. Can ORS withhold more than what is written in the order?

    Reply
    • That doesn’t sound right. I’d need more information before I could determine what your options are. Please give me a call if you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your question in greater detail. 801-466-9277.

      Reply
  • If my step-son is 18 moves out on his own (not getting any help from mom), but still has his senior year left in high school. Does my husband still have to pay his ex child support? If the answer is yes, can he request to go to a mediator and have it withdrawn if they both agree to it?

    Reply
    • Please give me a call if you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your question in greater detail. 801-466-9277.

      Reply
  • Hi my name is Michael Seiler, I live in Cincinnati Ohio and my ex wife lives with my son in Utah who I pay child support to. My question is I just signed paper work to receive an inheritance from a deceased family member of mine. Will the state of Utah take my inheritance for my back childsupport even though my current childsupport I pay includes payments to pay my back childsupport? I’ve tried searching for a clear answer but unfortunately I haven’t found one. I just want to know what the state of Utahs stance is on when a person who does owe back childsupport receives an inheritance? Thank you hopefully you can better clarify

    Reply
  • My children are homeschooled and three of them are a grade above their peers or what they would have been had we e rolled in public kindergarten in Utah. So my son will graduate at 17. When he turns 18 in September does child support stop or would it be until the class of his peers graduate that may? And if it is graduation where could I clarify this? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Please give me a call, if you would like to schedule a consultation with me to discuss your situation in more detail. 801-466-9277

      Reply
  • Warner Emberton
    July 2, 2022 7:50 am

    Excellent write-up. I absolutely appreciate this website. Stick with it!

    Reply
  • My husband has a child he is paying child support for. She is turning 18 this month. We were just informed support will continue until May of next year due to child not graduating when she was supposed to. How is this okay when he had no say in her schooling to allow her to need an extra year?

    Reply
    • Unless his Decree of Divorce provided otherwise, child support in Utah (not everywhere) terminates according to the provisions of Utah Code Section:
      78B-12-219. Adjustment when child becomes emancipated.
      (1) When a child becomes 18 years old or graduates from high school during the child’s normal and expected year of graduation, whichever occurs later,

      Unless the court properly ordered that child support continue beyond ”the child’s normal and expected year of graduation,” child support terminates on the child’s 18th birthday. Give us a call, please, and let’s see what your situation is and what your options are. 801-466-9277.

      Reply
  • Rick Williams
    March 11, 2023 3:41 pm

    “son” turns 18 Oct 17th 23 ors says I have to pay till may 312024 he’s 18 she don’t let me see him we have no connection at this point I’m not wanting one I’m told she held him back had him turn over his adult rights to her she plans on getting him on social security disability so why do I have to pay is there anything I can do as far as I’m concerned I paid till he turns 18 and I wash my hands

    Reply
    • Divorce Utah
      March 14, 2023 4:54 pm

      Please give me a call, if you would like to schedule a consultation with me to discuss your situation in more detail. 801-466-9277

      Reply
  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Click to listen highlighted text!