Do you have kids? Are you getting divorced? If the answers are yes, you’ll be dealing with child support.
There’s really no getting around it. (I know because I’ve tried to get around it a few times at my clients’ requests, but the Court will always make someone pay.)
And since child support is a must, the question become: how do you calculate child support in Utah?
First, let me quickly explain the basics regarding child support.
Child support is a function of gross monthly incomes (i.e., incomes before taxes are taken out) and how you share parent-time with your children (i.e., the number of overnights per year your children spend with each of you).
You take these four numbers (your gross monthly income, your ex’s gross monthly income, the number of overnights in a year your kids spend with you, and the number of overnights your kids spend with your ex) and plug them in to Utah’s child support formula.
The number that comes out is the amount of child support each parent owes.
The How To
At this point, you should be asking yourself: how do I plug the numbers in to a formula?
You have two options.
First option is the old-timey way. It consists of going to Utah Code Annotated, Section 78B-12-3-301, combining the gross monthly incomes, and working your way down the table until you hit the correct gross monthly income range, then looking for the correct number of children.
But this table only provides aggregate numbers regarding the total child support due from both parents, so it doesn’t even tell you how much each parent really owes per month.
There’s a reason no one uses the table anymore.
Instead, everyone uses the second option.
This option consists of using the child support calculator provided by Utah’s Office of Recovery Services.
Just follow the very simple instructions, and the calculator will provide you with a child support worksheet with child support totals.
When lawyers are in court or mediation and want to determine child support, this is the tool they use. When lawyers prepare pleadings with child support numbers, this is the tool they use.
This is the lawyer’s (and judge’s) how-to, and it should be yours.