Today the court ordered me to pay child support, leaving me $6/month to spend feeding myself. What can I do?

Is it really true that the child support award leaves you literally with $6 per month? Let me explain why I ask.

In Utah, where I practice, we have statutory child support guidelines. I’ll show you how child support would be calculated using those guidelines:

So the point is to ensure that the the parent paying child support follows a standard, a standard that is intended to ensure that the parent pays enough child support to provide for the children financially while also ensuring that the payor parent also has enough money to live on as well. Obviously, child support that “kills the goose that lays the golden eggs” ultimately hurts a child.

It’s hard to find a clearly written policy in the Utah Code that limits how much of a payor parent’s income can be taken to pay child support, but it appears to be 50%. See Utah Code Section 78B-12-211. (Limitation on amount of support ordered):

78B-12-211. Limitation on amount of support ordered.

(1) There is no maximum limit on the base child support award that may be ordered using the base combined child support obligation table, using the low income table, or awarding medical expenses except under Subsection (2).

(2) If amounts under either table as provided in Part 3, Tables, in combination with the award of medical expenses exceeds 50% of the obligor’s adjusted gross income, or by adding the child care costs, total child support would exceed 50% of the obligor’s adjusted gross income, the presumption under Section 78B-12-215 is rebutted.

If you truly only have $6 remaining after child support is withheld from your pay check, and if you can verifiably document this, I cannot imagine that there isn’t a way provided in your jurisdiction’s law to obtain relief from such a crushing and unsustainable child support award. Speak to an experienced divorce and family law attorney. There is hope. Best wishes.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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