Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

How is Utah child support calculated?

Child support has a unique place in American society and the state of Utah. Child support does not go away when one or both spouses remarry, it cannot be voided through bankruptcy, and not paying can result in the loss of everything from a driver's license to one's freedom. Child support has a different meaning, depending on who is saying the words, but for some people, child support is a necessary life-line for parent's raising children. Others see it as an unnecessary burden that makes it impossible to maintain a household for the very children the money is supposed to benefit. Whether viewed as a lifeline, burden or responsibility determining the amount of child support to be paid can be a complicated and time consuming task.

Utah child support calculation has three components: base child support, medical expenses and child care expenses. The base child support is determined by using a formula created by the state that determines a dollar amount based on the parent's monthly income and the number of children. Medical expenses are generally split between the parents equally. This means that not only is the child's portion of the premium split among the parents, but so is any non-insured medical expenses, including deductibles and co-pays. Child care expenses, while presumed, are not presumed to be included in a child support calculation. This means that child care expenses are awarded on a case by case basis and can apply to the custodial and non-custodial parent.

The final child support figured is affected by many factors outside of the base child support calculator. The first factor to consider is the amount of parenting time each parent has will the child. The more equal the time, the less financial support one parents owes to the other. Another more common factor to consider is the number of children a person is already paying to support.

Child support may actually have a negative impact on some families, even if it is being taken in the best interest of the child. For countless other families child support is the light at the end of the tunnel that keeps food on the plates and a roof over their head.

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