My ex and I have been separated for a while now. He has not given us any money for child support. I am supporting my child and me on my own, and now my husband says he wants to get a divorce.
He also says wants to give me sole custody of our child, doesn’t want to pay child support of any kind, but still have visitation and parent-time rights.
Can he get out of paying child support under Utah law and still see our child? Or does he have to sign his parental rights away to avoid child support and therefore then will not be allowed to see our child, unless I allow him to?
To answer your questions:
Can he get out of paying child support under Utah law?
Not if he’s employed or unemployed, but employable.
Does he have to sign his parental rights away to avoid child support?
Yes. This is known as termination of parental rights. This can be accomplished by a voluntary relinquishment of parental rights, if your husband is willing to do this voluntarily. But even if he won’t voluntarily relinquish his parental rights, you can still petition the court to terminate his parental rights against his will.
Therefore, he isn’t allowed to see our child, unless I allow him to?
NO! The law in Utah is clear on this: you cannot withhold contact between the child and a parent, even if that parent is refusing to pay child support:
“Neither parent-time nor child support is to be withheld due to either parent’s failure to comply with a court-ordered parent-time schedule.”
The reason behind this policy is that children need and deserve both financial and emotional support from parents. If a father deprives a child of his financial support that doesn’t justify the mother withholding from the child the father’s emotional support and love too. And that makes sense, even though it’s not much help to the mother in this scenario.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277