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Salt Lake City Family Law Blog

What actions may be taken if one does not pay child support?

Not every parent who separates from their partner or goes through a divorce will be required to pay child support. This is because in some situations, Utah courts may find that the children's best interests are achieved through custodial arrangements that permit each parent to provide for their child, while the youth is under their roof. In other scenarios, a parent may not earn enough income to pay child support. Orders and agreements, regarding the support of children, are specific to the cases from which they arise.

But, from time to time, parents who are subject to child support orders fail to provide their children with the financial payments they are legally bound to provide. Because child support is an integral part of a parent's responsibility to their child, the courts take these deficiencies seriously. As such, there are many ways that payment may be compelled from a parent who is out of compliance.

Talk to a family law attorney before walking down the aisle

Generally, a person may not think about talking to a family law attorney until they are considering divorce, changing a custody order or seeking to modify alimony or child support. However, Utah residents may be surprised to learn that consultations with a family law attorney prior to marriage can be a useful and even a money-saving step. After all, it is a much better time to handle asset and family decisions when both parties are amicable. And, one of the most important topics is the utility of a premarital agreement.

A premarital agreement, sometimes called a prenup, is a contract that two people make before they wed. The individuals may establish property ownership rights, and dictate which property will stay with each spouse, post-divorce. Through a prenup the parties may handle what effectively would be the property division decisions that become necessary when individuals decide to end their marriages.

Adoption through the Utah foster care system


Adoptions happen in many beautiful and life-changing situations. A family may have the opportunity to adopt a newborn baby and raise that infant from the first days of their life, or they may pursue the adoption of an older child from another country who desperately needs a family of their own. Another path to adoption allows prospective parents and children to get to know each other over time and work toward the possibility of bringing the child legally into the family through adoption.

This is known as the foster-to-adopt process. While it is the goal of the foster care program to return children to their biological families, this is not always possible. Whether because their biological parents are not fit to care for them or they have relinquished their parental rights to their kids, in some cases, a foster child may not have a home to return. Through the foster-to-adopt process, a family welcomes a child into their home without the guarantee that the child will be eligible for adoption.

Adoption through the Utah foster care system

Adoptions happen in many beautiful and life-changing situations. A family may have the opportunity to adopt a newborn baby and raise that infant from the first days of their life, or they may pursue the adoption of an older child from another country who desperately needs a family of their own. Another path to adoption allows prospective parents and children to get to know each other over time and work toward the possibility of bringing the child legally into the family through adoption.

This is known as the foster-to-adopt process. While it is the goal of the foster care program to return children to their biological families, this is not always possible. Whether because their biological parents are not fit to care for them or they have relinquished their parental rights to their kids, in some cases, a foster child may not have a home to return. Through the foster-to-adopt process, a family welcomes a child into their home without the guarantee that the child will be eligible for adoption.

Creating a child support agreement during a divorce


Not all matters related to divorce must be acrimonious. In fact, there are several important legal matters related to divorce that may be resolved through negotiations and agreements directly between the parties. In Salt Lake City parties to a divorce may choose to discuss and decide their own child support terms, often with the help of their legal representatives.

A child support agreement differs from a court-issued child support order most specifically in its creation. Whereas an order is drafted and promulgated by a judge after considering the evidence in a family law matter, an agreement is created by the parties who sign off on its terms. A divorcing mother and father can maintain more control over the support decisions that will affect their kids if they choose to work out an agreement between them.

Creating a child support agreement during a divorce

Not all matters related to divorce must be acrimonious. In fact, there are several important legal matters related to divorce that may be resolved through negotiations and agreements directly between the parties. In Salt Lake City parties to a divorce may choose to discuss and decide their own child support terms, often with the help of their legal representatives.

A child support agreement differs from a court-issued child support order most specifically in its creation. Whereas an order is drafted and promulgated by a judge after considering the evidence in a family law matter, an agreement is created by the parties who sign off on its terms. A divorcing mother and father can maintain more control over the support decisions that will affect their kids if they choose to work out an agreement between them.

What is imputed income for child support?


The Utah child support guidelines use a complex mathematical calculation to determine how much of a parent's income should be set aside for the financial support of their children. Depending on the amount of money that a parent makes, that figure could be more or less than what their children's other parent is required to pay. When a parent earns no income, the court may impute income on them to establish an appropriate child support amount.

Imputed income is not income that a parent actually earns, but income that the parent likely could earn in the workforce. Consider, for example, a parent who is trained and qualified as a registered nurse, but who is not in a job.

What is imputed income for child support?

The Utah child support guidelines use a complex mathematical calculation to determine how much of a parent's income should be set aside for the financial support of their children. Depending on the amount of money that a parent makes, that figure could be more or less than what their children's other parent is required to pay. When a parent earns no income, the court may impute income on them to establish an appropriate child support amount.

Imputed income is not income that a parent actually earns, but income that the parent likely could earn in the workforce. Consider, for example, a parent who is trained and qualified as a registered nurse, but who is not in a job.

Legal custody is an important part of supporting one's children


The right to spend time with one's own children is often taken for granted by Salt Lake City parents. It may not be until divorce or separation forces them to establish a new home and share their kids with their former partner that they realize how precious those moments with their children really are. When working through child custody matters parents sometimes fixate on how much time they will actually have with their children under their physical control.

Although physical custody is a vitally important part of parenting plans for Utah families, there is another type of custody that parents should recognize as imperative to the upbringing of their kids: legal custody. Legal custody is the power of a parent to be involved in the decision-making processes of their children's lives and to have their voice heard when matters related to their kids' upbringing is under consideration.

Legal custody is an important part of supporting one's children

The right to spend time with one's own children is often taken for granted by Salt Lake City parents. It may not be until divorce or separation forces them to establish a new home and share their kids with their former partner that they realize how precious those moments with their children really are. When working through child custody matters parents sometimes fixate on how much time they will actually have with their children under their physical control.

Although physical custody is a vitally important part of parenting plans for Utah families, there is another type of custody that parents should recognize as imperative to the upbringing of their kids: legal custody. Legal custody is the power of a parent to be involved in the decision-making processes of their children's lives and to have their voice heard when matters related to their kids' upbringing is under consideration.

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