So the answer for the majority of parents goes like this:
First, here is where you can find the bulk of Utah’s child support law:
A few key citations:
- Each parent’s child support obligation shall be established in proportion to their adjusted gross incomes, unless the low income table is applicable.
- Except in cases of joint physical custody and split custody as defined in Section 78B-12-102 and in cases where the obligor’s adjusted gross income is $1,050 or less monthly, the base child support award shall be determined as follows:
- combine the adjusted gross incomes of the parents and determine the base combined child support obligation using the base combined child support obligation table; and
- calculate each parent’s proportionate share of the base combined child support obligation by multiplying the combined child support obligation by each parent’s percentage of combined adjusted gross income.
- The base combined child support obligation table provides combined child support obligations for up to six children. For more than six children, additional amounts may be added to the base child support obligation shown. Unless rebutted by Subsection 78B-12-210(3), the amount ordered may not be less than the amount which would be ordered for up to six children.
- For all worksheets, income and support award figures shall be rounded to the nearest dollar.
- The shall be applied as a rebuttable presumption in establishing or modifying the amount of temporary or permanent child support.
- 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.
- 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.
- The following shall be considered deviations from the guidelines, if:
- the order includes a written finding that it is a deviation from the guidelines;
- (b) the guidelines worksheet has: the box checked for a deviation; and an explanation as to the reason; or
- the deviation is made because there were more children than provided for in the guidelines table.
- Natural or adoptive children of either parent who live in the home of that parent and are not children in common to both parties may at the option of either party be taken into account under the guidelines in setting a child support award.
- In a proceeding to adjust or modify an existing award, consideration of natural or adoptive children born after entry of the order and who are not in common to both parties may be applied to mitigate an increase in the award but may not be applied:
- for the benefit of the obligee if the credit would increase the support obligation of the obligor from the most recent order; or
- for the benefit of the obligor if the amount of support received by the obligee would be decreased from the most recent order.
Child support consists of more than just the “base support” that is paid monthly. Child support also includes medical care and, if the parents utilize work-related child care, child care expenses.
- The court shall order that insurance for the medical expenses of the minor children be provided by a parent if it is available at a reasonable cost.
- The court shall designate which health, hospital, or dental insurance plan is primary and which health, hospital, or dental insurance plan is secondary if at any time a dependent child is covered by both parents’ health, hospital, or dental insurance plans.
- In determining which parent shall be ordered to maintain insurance for medical expenses, the court or administrative agency may consider the:
- reasonableness of the cost;
- availability of a group insurance policy;
- coverage of the policy; and
- preference of the custodial parent.
- The order shall require each parent to share equally the out-of-pocket costs of the premium actually paid by a parent for the children’s portion of insurance unless the court finds good cause to order otherwise.
- The parent who provides the insurance coverage may receive credit against the base child support award or recover the other parent’s share of the children’s portion of the premium.
- In cases in which the parent does not have insurance but another member of the parent’s household provides insurance coverage for the children, the parent may receive credit against the base child support award or recover the other parent’s share of the children’s portion of the premium.
- The children’s portion of the premium is a per capita share of the premium actually paid. The premium expense for the children shall be calculated by dividing the premium amount by the number of persons covered under the policy and multiplying the result by the number of children in the instant case.
- The order shall, in accordance with Subsection 30-3-5(1)(b), include a cash medical support provision that requires each parent to equally share all reasonable and necessary uninsured and unreimbursed medical and dental expenses incurred for the dependent children, including but not limited to deductibles and copayments unless the court finds good cause to order otherwise.
- A parent who incurs medical expenses shall provide written verification of the cost and payment of medical expenses to the other parent within 30 days of payment.
- In addition to any other sanctions provided by the court, a parent incurring medical expenses may be denied the right to receive credit for the expenses or to recover the other parent’s share of the expenses if that parent fails to provide written verification of the cost and payment of medical expenses to the other parent within 30 days of payment.
- The child support order shall require that each parent share equally the reasonable work-related child care expenses of the parents.
- If an actual expense for child care is incurred, a parent shall begin paying his share on a monthly basis immediately upon presentation of proof of the child care expense, but if the child care expense ceases to be incurred, that parent may suspend making monthly payment of that expense while it is not being incurred, without obtaining a modification of the child support order.
- In the absence of a court order to the contrary, a parent who incurs child care expense shall provide written verification of the cost and identity of a child care provider to the other parent upon initial engagement of a provider and thereafter on the request of the other parent.
- In the absence of a court order to the contrary, the parent shall notify the other parent of any change of child care provider or the monthly expense of child care within 30 calendar days of the date of the change.
- In addition to any other sanctions provided by the court, a parent incurring child care expenses may be denied the right to receive credit for the expenses or to recover the other parent’s share of the expenses if the parent incurring the expenses fails to comply with Subsection (2)(b).
- The need to include child care costs in the child support order is presumed, if the custodial parent or the noncustodial parent, during extended parent-time, is working and actually incurring the child care costs.
- The need to include child care costs is not presumed, but may be awarded on a case-by-case basis, if the costs are related to the career or occupational training of the custodial parent, or if otherwise ordered by the court in the interest of justice.
- The court may impute a monthly obligation for child care costs when it imputes income to a parent who is providing child care for the minor child of both parties so that the parties are not incurring child care costs for the child. Any monthly obligation imputed under this section shall be applied towards any actual child care costs incurred within the same month for the child.
- 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.
- The court or administrative agency may prescribe the frequency and the form of the accounting which shall include receipts and an accounting.
- The obligor may petition for the accounting only if current on all child support that has been ordered.
- 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.
- The award may not be reduced by a per child amount derived from the base child support award originally ordered.
- 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.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277