If you have a child and you don’t live with your child, chances are you will pay child support. If you get divorced and have kids or have a paternity case, in Utah you’ll surely pay child support.
If you do pay child support, how should you pay child support? What I mean is, in what form should you pay child support? There are a couple options, an one non-option. First, the non-option.
Non-option: Do not, do not, do not pay child support in cash! If you even think of paying child support with cash, slap yourself. You can’t trust the other parent to tell the truth about you paying child support. I can’t tell you how many times my client has paid child support in cash for years, and the other parent says he/she has never received a dime. Since it’s your burden to prove you paid child support, and since paying in cash makes proving payment almost impossible, you will end up paying child support twice. So, again, don’t pay in cash.
Option 1: Pay child support through Utah Office of Recovery Services (ORS). ORS is a clearing house for child support payments. You pay child support to ORS, then ORS logs the payment and sends the payment to your ex. The beauty of this system is ORS’s accounting. ORS keeps meticulous detail of each payment, and its accounting is accepted by Utah courts as accurate. We recommend that every client goes through ORS because it simplifies everything and removes the risk of not being able to prove payment.
Option 2: Pay with check or money order. Some people, for whatever reason, simply don’t want to work with ORS. If you are one of these people, you can still pay your child support and keep yourself safe: pay with a check or money order. If you choose this route, keep copies of every check you write or every money order you send. Keep a copy of every envelope in which you send the check or money order. Also, keep a copy of every bank statement, highlighting where your child support check was cashed. I know this sound like overkill, but you’ll be thankful when your ex says you have paid child support for five years.
After reading Option 2, you should understand why we recommend everyone pay through ORS. In any case, Rule #1 for paying Utah child support is: keep record of every payment. Oh, and don’t pay cash.