Why Do Utah Parents Pay Child Support When they Share 50/50 Custody?

I get asked a lot why Utah parents pay child support when they share 50/50 custody.

It’s a good question because it seems like sharing 50/50 custody would mean you share everything equally, including costs.

That’s not quite how Utah law sees it. So, here’s how Utah law looks at these situations.

In Utah, the child (not parents, the child) is entitled to child support. That child support is determine as a percentage of the parents’ total gross monthly income (i.e., income before taxes are taken out).

So, let’s say a child is entitled to 10% of the parents’ combined gross monthly incomes. Now, the parents almost always make different incomes, so each parent pays his or her share of the 10% depending on how much of the total each parent makes.

Let me use an example to clear this up. Say parents combined make $10,000 per month gross. Mom makes $6000, and dad makes $4000. The child is entitled to 10% of $10,000, or $1000. Mom makes 60% of the parents’ total $10,000, and dad make 40% of the total. So, mom would contribute $600 per month toward child support, and dad would contribute $400 per month toward child support.

Because the child is with the each parents 50% of the time, Utah law requires mom to pay $100 to dad so he can use that money while the child is with him. Thus, each parent has an amount of the overall money equal to the amount of time the child spends with each.

This is why parents with 50/50 still pay child support.

Published On: August 26th, 2020Categories: Child CustodyComments Off on Why Do Utah Parents Pay Child Support When they Share 50/50 Custody?
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About the Author: Marco Brown
Marco C. Brown was named Utah’s Outstanding Family Law Lawyer of the Year in 2015. He graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2007 and is currently the managing partner of Brown Family Law, LLC.
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