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Tag: divorce finances

Can you get a post-judgment interest rate higher than the statutory rate?

Did you know you can request a post-judgment interest rate that is higher than the default statutory rate? 

It’s true.  

While the court does not have the discretion to lower, stay, or waive statutory interest rate, it does have discretion to exceed statutory interest if equity so requires. 

Please don’t make me regret sharing this by asking for crazy amounts of interest now.  

A judgment for child support arrearages is a “judgment” within meaning of statute providing that, unless otherwise specified by contract, judgment shall bear interest at rate of 12% per annum; thus, custodial spouse is entitled to statutory rate of interest on the judgment until paid in full; although trial court may, in its discretion under divorce statute, raise statutory interest if equity so requires, court does not have the discretion to lower, stay, or waive interest. Utah Code Ann. §§15-1-4, 30-3-5(1). Stroud v. Stroud, 738 P.2d 649 (Utah Ct. App. 1987), judgment aff’d, 758 P.2d 905 (Utah 1988). Osguthorpe v. Osguthorpe, 804 P.2d 530 (Utah Ct. App. 1990). 

Interest accruing to wife on monies due from husband in property division in divorce judgment was at statutory rate, rather than the lower rate ordered by trial court. U.C.A.1953, 15-1-4. Marchant v. Marchant, 743 P.2d 199 (Utah Ct. App. 1987).  

A higher interest rate than statutorily allowed may be equitably imposed in divorce action under where, “under the circumstances, that award is reasonable,” and, second, that an increase of 2% over the statutory interest rate imposed on the amount not paid to the receiving party within six months was not an abuse of discretion. Pope v. Pope, 589 P.2d 752, 754 (Utah 1978). In divorce action, trial court did not err in ordering that if husband failed to pay wife specified sum of cash within six months of trial court’s order that such amount would bear interest at the rate of 10% per year. Pope v. Pope, 589 P.2d 752 (Utah 1978).  

Section 15-1-4 provides the “minimum interest allowable.” Id. (emphasis added). The statute “does not preclude a District Court, under [section 30-3-5] from imposing an interest rate of more than [the statutory postjudgment rate] where, under the circumstances, that award is reasonable and equitable.” Wadsworth v. Wadsworth, — P.3d —-, 2022 WL 130617, 2022 UT App 5 (citing Stroud v. Stroud, 738 P.2d 649, 650 (Utah Ct. App. 1987) (quoting Pope v. Pope, 589 P.2d 752, 754 (Utah 1978)).  

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277  

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Do you pay tithing on child support?

Nothing is more frustrating to a sincere Christian than to ask the question, “Should I pay tithing on child support money I receive as a parent?” and to receive this kind of response: “It’s between you and the Lord.” 

While “it’s between you and God,” is important to your analysis of the question, and while you need to ask God to guide you in your analysis and your ultimate decision, “it’s between you and the Lord” it doesn’t really answer your question. It gives you too little guidance. 

What you want to know is whether you should pay tithing on the child support you receive or not pay tithing on it and why. I can and will answer these questions for you substantively. 

First, while you will find faithful, devoted, rational Christians who will answer your question with a “yes” and other equally faithful, devoted, rational Christians who will answer your question with a “no,” unless the church you attend has a specific policy on what is and is not tithed* there is no definitive answer to this question (don’t be upset, I will give you as definitive an answer as I can in the next paragraph). 

The answer is: no. Here is why: 

  • If you administer (spend) child support for the sole and exclusive benefit of the child(ren), then 
    • child support is not yours and thus not “your increase” and thus not money on which you pay tithing (Deuteronomy 14:22; see also Leviticus 27:30-33); 
    • and if the person who earned the funds out of which child support is paid has already paid tithing on it, then there is no purpose in “tithing” it again just because it has changed hands by being entrusted to you to administer for the benefit of the minor children. 
      • If the payor did not pay tithing on the child support funds entrusted to you, you are still not obligated to pay tithing on the funds, as they are not your income/increase. 

“But,” you may ask, “if I spend some of the child support funds on myself (and you can legally do that if, for example, you use child support to pay your rent, your heat, electric, and/or water bill or similar utilities), then is that ‘increase’ to me, such that I should pay tithing on that portion/fraction that benefits me?” I don’t think so. To explain further by way of a real-life analogy: 

  • I once had a job as a caretaker for mentally disabled adults during the day. Among the services I provided for these adults was taking them to the occasional movie. 
  • My employer provided me with money to purchase movie tickets for these adults, as well as to purchase a movie ticket for me. 
    • Obviously, they money my employer entrusted to me to buy a movie ticket was not for my own enjoyment. I had no choice as to whether I would purchase the ticket for myself or spend the money as I chose. 
    • Whether I wanted to watch the movie (or liked the movie) was irrelevant because the purpose of providing me with money to purchase a movie ticket for me was enable me to accompany the disabled adults I cared for into the movie theater to supervise and attend to them during the movie. 
  • The money my employer gave me to purchase a movie ticket for myself was not income/increase to me in any way. I clearly had no moral obligation to pay tithing on that money.

If you are obligated to provide housing, heat, and water to your children under the same roof as where you reside, then you cannot do that without providing housing, heat, and water for yourself at the same time. As long as you utilize those child support funds responsibly for the benefit of your children, then those funds are not income/increase to you. You have no moral obligation to pay tithing on those funds. 

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*The original version of this question specifically asked whether the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints requires a child support recipient to pay tithing on child support, and the answer to that question is: the church has no specific policy on the subject. 

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277  

https://www.quora.com/Do-you-pay-tithing-on-child-support-LDS/answer/Eric-Johnson-311 

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My spouse owes me child support, but we are both almost homeless.

How do I find assistance if I own a business with a spouse that owes money in child support, yet we are unable to support ourselves and at risk of becoming homeless without the assistance we need? 

Depending upon your jurisdiction, you may have some options to protect your income from being garnished or otherwise taken from you to pay the debts and obligations of your spouse that you are not obligated to pay. It may not be an option that you exercise through the divorce or child custody court. It may mean that you have to restructure the business organization. But the good news is that you likely have a way of preventing your own income or assets from being confused with your spouse’s income and assets and a way of preventing your own income and assets from being seized to pay the debts and obligations of your spouse. This is something that most laypeople cannot do on their own or figure out how to do properly or most effectively on their own. This is a situation where you’d be jumping over dollars to pick up dimes if you try to do this on your own instead of paying an attorney to assist you. 

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277  

https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-find-assistance-if-I-own-a-business-with-a-spouse-that-owes-money-in-child-support-yet-we-are-unable-to-support-ourselves-and-at-risk-of-becoming-homeless-without-the-assistance-we-need/answer/Eric-Johnson-311  

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What is a costly part of divorce that almost no one thinks of ahead of time?

Every aspect of divorce. Every single one. 

Two cannot live separately and divorced for less than they did together. 

Litigation is mind-bogglingly expensive and protracted. 

Even an uncontested divorce can result in tremendous expenditures incurred to get divorced, a substantial loss of one’s net worth as a result of the division of the marital estate, and years of future financial obligations in the form of child support and alimony. 

And: 

  • Clients are often shocked by the cost of the court filing fee 
  • Clients are often shocked by the cost of service of process 
  • Clients are often shocked by how much of their time a divorce action take up. It can feel like it takes up or even actually takes up as much time as a second job 
  • Clients are often shocked by the emotional toll divorce takes 
  • Clients are often shocked by the cost of attorney’s fees 
  • Clients are often shocked by the cost of expert consultants 
  • Clients are often shocked by the cost of the child custody evaluator (which is doubly shocking because child custody evaluations are such an obscene waste of time, money, and effort, given their comparatively minimal probative value) 
  • Clients are often shocked by how much child support they will pay or how little child support they will receive. 
  • Clients are often shocked by both 1) how much alimony they will pay or how little alimony they will receive, and 2) for how long 
  • Clients are often shocked to learn that their pensions and retirement savings accrued or acquired during the marriage are divided equally with their spouses when they believed that they would get to keep all of the pension and retirement funds in their own individual name for themselves. 
  • Clients are often shocked to learn that their house is not worth nearly as much as they thought 
  • fathers are often shocked to learn that there is an undeniable bias against them when it comes to making the child custody award. 

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277  

https://www.quora.com/What-is-a-costly-part-of-divorce-that-almost-no-one-thinks-of-ahead-of-time/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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If the father got the child custody, will the mom pay for child support?

In Utah, the answer is: it’s likely that Mom will pay child support to Dad. Generally, unless the primary joint custodial parents makes orders of magnitude more than the other parent, the parent awarded less custody is going to pay the parent awarded more custody. 

But it is possible, in certain scenarios, for a dad who has custody of the children more overnights annually than does a mom. For example, in preparing the answer to this question I calculated child support based upon this scenario: 

Mom’s gross monthly income is $2,000. Dad’s gross monthly income is $25,000. Dad has the children in his custody 220 overnights annually and Mom has the children in her custody 145 overnights annually. Even though the children are with Dad more than with Mom, given the huge disparity in the parents’ respective incomes, Dad would end up paying Mom $238 per month, where if Dad had sole custody (meaning that Mom has the children in her custody 110 overnights or fewer annually), Mom would pay Dad $166 per month. 

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277  

https://www.quora.com/If-the-father-got-the-child-custody-will-the-mom-pay-for-child-support/answer/Eric-Johnson-311?prompt_topic_bio=1  

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