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Tag: ORS

I am ordered to pay child support to my ex. My ex and I are both ordered to share the cost of our child’s health, medical, dental, and hospital care insurance equally. Is there anything I can do to ensure that I am reimbursed without it costing me more than the value of the reimbursement itself?

Question: I am ordered to pay child support to my ex. My ex and I are both ordered to share the cost of our child’s health, medical, dental, and hospital care insurance equally.

The amount of money that my ex owes me each month for half of the cost of the children’s insurance is less than a hundred dollars each month.

The problem is that I end up paying all of the children’s insurance costs each month, and my ex never reimburses me.

While I pay child support consistently on time and in full each month, my ex does not reimburse me for half the cost of our children’s insurance coverage each month. This is no accident or oversight on my ex as part. My ex is doing this deliberately.

It would cost me more in attorney’s fees and court costs to go after my ex for reimbursement than it would be just to eat that cost myself. Is there anything I can do to ensure that I am reimbursed without it costing me more than the value of the reimbursement itself?

Answer: Yes.

For those of you reading this who are going through a Utah divorce or child custody case, don’t have a final order yet, and know that this issue is going to arise, you can prevent it by incorporating into the child support order this provision from Utah Code § 78B-12-212:

(6)(a) The parent who provides insurance may receive credit against the base child support award or recover the other parent’s share of the child’s portion of the premium.

This subsection of the Code is what allows the court to reduce the amount of child support you pay to your ex each month by that portion of the children’s health insurance premium cost that your ex owes you. So, if you owed your ex $472 per month in child support, and your ex owed you $55 per month for your ex is half of the children’s insurance premium costs, you would end up paying your ex a total of $417 each month instead of $472 ($472 – $55 = $417).

If you didn’t have the presence of mind to include such a provision in the final decree or order of the court, you can still obtain this benefit after the fact by either filing a motion or petition with the court to have this ordered.

Or you can work through the Office of Recovery Services (ORS) to have ORS handle the collection and payment of child support, and in that process, adjust the amount of child support your ex is paid by reducing it by your ex’s half of what your ex owes you for child insurance cost reimbursement.

To request the assistance of ORS to obtain credit against child support for your ex’s half of the children’s monthly health insurance premium costs, I’ve provided a link to ORS’s website on the subject and a link to the contact information for ORS:

Asking for a Credit for the Child’s Portion of Health Insurance

Contact Child Support – State of Utah Office of Recovery Services

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

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If you pay child support directly but want to pay through the state instead, can this be done without asking the court for permission?

Also, is it more beneficial to pay through the state or directly to the custodial parent? 

I can’t speak for all jurisdictions in response to this question, but I can answer it as it applies in Utah, where I practice divorce and family law.  

First, these are two very good questions. A question all child support payors (also known as “child support obligors”) should ask and to which they should know the answer.   

Second, the short answer to your two questions (question #1: If you pay child support directly but want to pay through the state instead, can this be done without asking the court for permission?; question #2: Is it more beneficial to pay through the state or directly to the custodial parent?) is, in my opinion, yes and yes.  

Here are some helpful links about setting up an account with ORS to pay child support through ORS, whether by garnishment of your pay checks or by paying child support directly to ORS: 

Pay Child Support – State of Utah Office of Recovery Services (https://ors.utah.gov/child-support/pay-child-support/ 

Although it can be a little confusing, to apply to set up an account pay child support through ORS, you have to click on the “Apply for Child Support” button. The button more accurately should read “Apply for Child Support Services” because one can click the button both to apply to have ORS *receive* child support for an obligee and to apply to have ORS collect child support from an obligor. 

Here is the link to that page:  Instructions for Child Support Services Application (https://orsoac.dhs.utah.gov/orsoacapp-hs/orsoacweb/actions/Oac0005 

Longer answers 

Answer to question #1: If you are currently paying child support directly to the parent or guardian whom the court ordered receives the child support payments but want to have the state government oversee and administer (and, most importantly, keep a record of) your payments, this can be done, and it does not require a court order to so do. The way it is done is by applying to the Office of Recovery Services (ORS) either to garnish your paychecks each time you receive a pay check (if you are not self-employed) or to make arrangements with ORS to pay child support directly to ORS, who then turns around and sends your child support payments to the child support payee (also known as the “obligee”).  

Answer to question #2: I feel it is more beneficial to pay child support through ORS than to pay directly to the child support obligee because paying through ORS results in ORS keeping records of your child support payments, which can be a real boon if the child support obligee ever makes false claims that you did not pay for a given period of time. **Bear in mind that ORS is not infallible **(I’ve witnessed them make mistakes and fail to credit a payor with a payment sometimes), so you still need to keep your own records of the child support payments you send to ORS to send to the child support obligee. Still, ORS gets it right more often than not, and the courts find a record from ORS showing your payment history to be some of the best evidence of your payment history there is.  

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

https://www.quora.com/If-you-pay-child-support-directly-but-want-to-pay-through-the-state-instead-can-this-be-done-without-asking-the-court-for-permission-Also-is-it-more-beneficial-to-pay-through-the-state-or-directly-to-the-custodial/answer/Eric-Johnson-311  

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My question to Utah Office of Recovery Services (ORS):

Good morning, 

I am a divorce and child custody lawyer. I have a question that all of my clients ask me that I don’t have the answer to: 

“Why does ORS and/or the court need my child’s Social Security Number in a child support case? I can see why they would need the Social Security Numbers for both parents, but why for the kids?” 

It’s a good question. Do you know the answer why (other than “it’s in the rules”), and if you don’t, can you point me in the direction of who knows the answer? 

We are unable to answer this question on behalf of the courts, but can provide you some of the reasons why ORS needs a child’s Social Security Number.  

When ORS establishes legal paternity for a child, we are required to report the paternity establishment to vital records, and this process requires the child’s Social Security Number to be sent with the child’s other information (name, date of birth, etc.).  On the enforcement side, ORS is required to enforce medical insurance in conjunction with enforcing child support.  As part of this process we send the parent’s employer the National Medical Support Notice ordering the child to be enrolled in insurance. The form includes the child’s Social Security Number, because it is required to enroll the child in insurance. This is a federal form all child support agencies are required to use.   

Thank you for your time and email. 

Customer Service 

Office of Recovery Services 

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

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I paid my ex in cash for child support. Will the court give me credit for it?

I paid my ex in cash for child support. Will the court give me credit for it?

In Utah (where I practice family law), the answer is: yes. And while I cannot speak for all jurisdictions, I would presume that most other jurisdictions have similar laws or rules in place.

For those of you wondering why this is an important question, this is why: if you don’t have independently verifiable, documented proof that you have paid child support, and the child support payee/recipient claims that you have not paid, the burden is on you and you alone to prove you paid. And if the only evidence of payment that you have is your word against your ex’s, you will lose the argument every single time.

So, before I finish my answer to your question, a word to the wise: never, ever pay child support in cash, if you can avoid it. If you must, for some reason, pay in cash, get a receipt from your ex acknowledging payment (amount paid, date paid). pay child support by check, money order, direct deposit, or through the child support collection agency (in Utah, this state agency’s name is the Utah Department of Human Services Office of Recover Services (known as Office of Recovery Services or just “ORS” for short).

Indeed, in my professional opinion, the best way to pay child support and to have proof you have paid child support, is to have your states child support collection agency garnish your wages (also known as “income withholding”) or to pay child support directly to the child support collection agency. Whether you are garnished or pay child support to the collection agency, the result is the same: the agency will make a record of your payment and forward payment to the child support payee. This way, you cannot ever be accused of not paying child support because the collection agency is responsible for collecting that payment and/or keeps a record of you making payment to the agency, and so it would be virtually impossible for the child support payee to accuse you, successfully, of nonpayment. Just remember that if you don’t let the collection agency garnish or paychecks, and if you pay child support directly to the collection agency, you will still want to keep independent documentation of those payments, in the event the collection agency fails to give you credit.

So, if you have been paying child support in cash to your ex, and your ex is willing to sign a statement (usually in the form of a sworn affidavit, but if your jurisdiction requires that you use a particular form and/or follow a particular procedure, make sure you do exactly as required) and submit that statement to the court acknowledging that you have paid in cash and stating how much you have paid, you are an extraordinarily fortunate person. And while it’s only right for someone who has received child support to acknowledge it and to give credit where credit is due, there are far too many child support payees who get paid in cash, then deny ever having been paid, and end up double dipping on child support by getting a judgment against you for child support falsely claimed to have been “unpaid”.

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

https://www.quora.com/I-paid-my-ex-in-cash-for-child-support-If-she-wrote-a-letter-to-the-court-acknowledging-this-would-the-court-give-me-credit-for-it/answer/Eric-Johnson-311?prompt_topic_bio=1

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Do I have to keep paying child support if our child doesn’t live with the other parent?

Question:

My daughter turns 18 in the middle of September.  I just recently learned that her mom moved away a couple of months ago leaving my daughter to live with her mother’s boyfriend, then my daughter just moved out of her mother’s boyfriends and into a friend’s house.

In the state of Utah, am I still obligated to pay child support after the child is no longer living with the custodial parent after she’s 18 but before she graduates?

Answer:

You can seek a modification of the child support award if the child is no longer residing with the parent to whom you were ordered to pay child support.

You have two options for seeking a modification:

  • administratively through the Office of Recovery Services (ORS); or
  • you can file a petition to modify the child support order through the district court.

Consult an attorney to find out how to exercise either option and to determine what option may be best for you.

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

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Does Child Support Automatically End? Or Do I Have to Request That?

QUESTION:

Hi there, Eric.

I am current on my child support and will continue to be current on what I own until my children are 18. At that time, will my payments automatically stop or will I have to go through a legal process to stop the payments?

ANSWER:

Hi,

Is ORS (Office of Recovery Services) collecting child support from you? Or are you paying directly to your ex?

QUESTION:

ORS is withholding from my paycheck.

ANSWER:

Then it should terminate automatically.[1]

But to be safe, it would not hurt for you to:

– send your ex an e-mail, with a read receipt requested, notifying/reminding her that when your last child turns 18/graduates from high school/emancipates your child support obligation will terminate; and

– send an e-mail, with a read receipt requested, notifying ORS when your last child turns 18/graduates from high school/emancipates and to request that ORS income withholdings cease at that point. You want a record of you having provided the notice and having made the request, just in case ORS doesn’t stop withholding when it should. By sending the email notice and request, that should help ensure ORS stops withholding when it should.

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

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[1] See Utah Code § 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.

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Passport Denial for Failure to Pay Child Support

Under Rule 527-275 of the Utah Administrative Code, the Office of Recovery Services (“ORS”) is authorized to deny a delinquent child support obligor’s application for a U.S. passport or an application to renew a U.S. passport.  Exercise of this power is intended to encourage child support obligors to pay their past-due child support, but in some cases, denying a passport could render a child support obligor unable to pay.  For example, if your job requires you to travel outside of the United States, denying you a passport have the effect of denying you an income.

Your ability to work directly affects your ability to pay the child support you are ordered to pay.  Fortunately, the rules provide that your passport application may be granted under certain circumstances.

If the case is IV-A—meaning that a custodial parent and child(ren) is receiving public assistance benefits under the State’s IV-A program, which is funded under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act—then if the ORS or CSS Director approves an exception to the payment-in-full requirement, ORS will release you from the denial of your passport application.

If the case is non-IV-A and:

  • if the ORS or CSS Director approves an exception to the payment-in-full requirement; and,
  • if the child support is owed to the obligee, ORS/CSS is able to obtain written approval from the obligee to release the passport,

ORS will also release you from the denial of your passport application.

If you do not satisfy either of the two exceptions mentioned above, your best (really your only) option is to pay your child support arrearages in full, at which point ORS cannot deny your passport application.

The applicable rules can be found in more detail at:

https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/code/r527/r527-275.htm.

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

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Passport Denial Program to Enforce Child Support

Can I prevent my ex from obtaining or renewing a passport to enforce child support?

Yes.

Here’s why and how:

Federal Passport Denial Program

Except when the child support obligor’s employment requires a valid passport, or where there are other extenuating circumstances that require the obligor to maintain a valid passport, the Federal Passport Denial Program can deny issuance or renewal of a passport for delinquent parent, and will continue to deny that parent a passport until all arrearages are paid or payment plan agreed to between the delinquent parent and the Office of Recovery Services (ORS).

Utah Administrative Code § R527-275-1. Purpose and Authority.

1. The Office of Recovery Services is authorized to create rules necessary for the provision of social services by Section 62A-11-107.

2. The purpose of this rule is to specify the procedures for the office to release an obligor’s passport after it has been denied for failure to pay child support.

Utah Administrative Code § R527-275-2. Federal Requirements.

The Office of Recovery Services/Child Support Services (ORS/CSS) adopts the federal regulations as published in 22 CFR 51.60, 51.70, 51.71(1), 51.72, 51.73, and 51.74 April 1, 2008 ed., which are incorporated by reference in this rule.

Utah Administrative Code § R527-275-3. Passport Release Criteria.

1. If the obligor applies for a new passport or to have a previously-issued passport renewed and is notified that the application has been denied for failure to pay child support, the obligor must contact ORS/CSS to get the passport released. The passport will be released if the obligor pays all past-due child support owing to the state IV-D Agency and/or obligee.

2. If the obligor’s employment requires a valid passport or there are other extenuating circumstances that require the obligor to maintain a valid passport, an exception may be granted if:

a. the case is IV-A – if the ORS or CSS Director approves an exception to the payment-in-full requirement.

b. the case is non-IV-A:

i. if the ORS or CSS Director approves an exception to the payment-in-full requirement; and,

ii. if the child support is owed to the obligee, ORS/CSS is able to obtain written approval from the obligee to release the passport.

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

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