Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

What counts as income when calculating child support in Utah?

Utah parents often do everything in their power to provide for their children as best as they can. For many parents, nothing about this changes after they divorce. However, there are frequently disputes that arise as to the proper amount of child support that must be paid by one parent to the other. Accordingly, it is helpful for parents to understand how a parent's monthly payments are calculated under Utah's child support formula.

While child support is a monthly payment that is made by one parent to the other, Utah law actually looks at both parents' income when it comes to calculating the amount of child support that must be paid. However, not everything is included in the income. For example, overtime and additional part-time jobs worked by a parent are typically not included in the calculation, as it focus is on the equivalent of one full-time job.

By the same token, a parent's Social Security disability insurance or Supplemental Security Income are also not considered as income under the formula. However, Social Security benefits, along with a person's pensions, workman's compensation and disability insurance benefits are included as income.

Utah's Department of Human Services maintains a calculator that parents can use to estimate the child support payments that will be ordered. However, each case is different, and different factors can lead to different child support obligations. Accordingly, individuals should understand which factors may be important in their particular case and how a court is likely to resolve potential disputes between the parents as to the child support amount that must be paid.

Source: Utah Department of Human Services, "Calculate child support amounts," accessed on July 24, 2015

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