Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

How much child support will a non-custodial parent pay?

Many Salt Lake City residents work hard to balance their finances. With a limited income and a seemingly never-ending increase in monthly expenses, it can be difficult to stretch the paycheck to cover all of the family's needs.

Given these financial difficulties, individuals on both sides of a divorce are interested in knowing what amount of child support a non-custodial parent will need to pay. The custodial parent may depend on the child support payment to meet the monthly payments, while the noncustodial parent may believe he or she does not have the ability to pay over a certain amount as is.

Under Utah law, the amount of child support that is paid will be determined by a child support formula. Under the formula established by the State Legislature, both parent's income is used to calculate the amount of monthly child support that will be paid.

In addition to both parent's income, the calculation looks at a number of other factors as well. For example, the number of natural and adopted children involved in the child support matter are figured into the calculation. The calculation also looks at the previous amounts of child support either the mother or father were ordered to pay, as well as the previous amounts of alimony actually paid by the mother or father.

Because of the different factors involved, the amount of child support payments that a person will be ordered to pay each month can vary widely from case to case. Accordingly, both the custodial and the non-custodial parent should understand the different factors involved in the calculation, and how those factors will impact the overall amount of child support that is ordered.

Source:, "Non-custodial parents frequently asked questions," accessed on May 21, 2016

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