Utah Child Support

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In the United States, child support is a major issue worrying divorced parents. There are 13.7 million custodial parents in the nation. On an average, each custodial parent receives $300 per month as child maintenance amount. In the year 2009, $35.1 billion dollars was owed as support amount. The enforcement of child support guidelines has made many non-custodial parents pay the court ordered amount in legal ways. In Utah, similar guidelines are formed to enable non-custodial parents fulfill their responsibilities. The family court determines Utah divorce child support amount after considering several factors like – the income of parents, the earning ability of each parent, the requirements of each parent and their children, parental responsibilities for any other child maintenance and any benefit earned by the child.

Utah Department of Human Services

The Utah Department of Human Services comprises of an agency known as the 'Office of Recovery Services' (ORS). This agency serves about 0.13 million children (as of 2009). The offices of ORS Child Support Services are located in the following cities:

  • St George
  • Richfield
  • Provo
  • Salt Lake City: This office also has the Children in Care and Medicaid Recovery programs
  • Ogden

It is necessary to understand child maintenance laws so that the parents can avoid paying costly court fees and enforcement measures. With this point in view, we present here a basic idea about the different dimensions of this topic.

Review process in Utah Divorce Child Support

Each parent is been given the right to request the ORS to review the previous order of child support. The parent has to make a written request to the ORS. The ORS may modify the amount of child support if the following conditions are fulfilled:

If less than 3 years have passed by from the date on which the previous order was reviewed, modified or issued

  • The parent offers evidence that since the above mentioned date there has been a considerable alteration in the conditions and the change is not temporary.
  • The new amount is at least 15 percent more or less than the present amount.

At least 3 years have passed by from the date on which the previous order was reviewed, modified or issued

  • The new amount is at least 10 percent more or less than the present amount.

Besides the two major issues, the support order may be modified if the order does not require one parent to pay for medical expenses for the child. Additionally, the ORS may request that the order is modified to require a parent get a health insurance at a nominal cost. After the review process is completed, there might be an increment or decrement in the child support amount.

The ORS does not modify the order in the following conditions:

  • For issues like custody or visitation
  • When the whereabouts of the non-requesting parent cannot be found out
  • If the youngest child would cross 18 years of age in a span of 1 year

Documents essential for Utah Divorce Child Support application

Along with the application form, the parent has to submit the below mentioned documents, if applicable. It is recommended that original documents should not be submitted but retained for personal records. The ORS cannot be held responsible for returning or maintaining any original documents. So, copies of the following are essential:

  • If either parent has died, then the obituary or death certificate
  • Paternity establishment documents
  • Sometimes, paternity is established by Utah Voluntary Declaration of Paternity. Then, the ORS can procure a copy of this document
  • If the child was born out of this state, then the birth certificate of the child
  • If the child was born in this state, the ORS can procure the birth certificate.
  • Any previous child support order along with any further modifications

Public Assistance

  • If a child is receiving public assistance, ORS automatically grants child support services.
  • The principle is that the money being paid to the custodial parent each month accumulates as debt to the state. It is the responsibility of the non-custodial parent to repay this debt.
  • The non-custodial parent is expected to repay this debt completely, though the public assistance to the custodial parent is terminated.
  • If any parent is not receiving public assistance, the ORS can provide services. For this, parent has to request an application for services.

Divorcing parents must remember that it is their responsibility to take care of the child they have brought into this world. Their decision to split should not impact the life of their child in any way, financially or mentally.

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