Immigration, Criminal & Family Law
Parents have a legal duty to support their minor children, generally until the child turns 18 years of age or has completed high school, whichever is later, unless a minor is emancipated. In some instances, the court may order ongoing child support for a child beyond the age of 18 if the child has special needs, such as is disabled child or in some way remains dependent. Establishing child support may be part of divorce, separate maintenance, temporary separation, annulment, parentage or child welfare.
Calculating child support
Utah law establishes Child Support Guidelines. The child support must be calculated using these Guidelines and the parents’ income to determine the child support obligation. The Guidelines have three components:
- Base child support
- Medical care
- Child care expenses
What the base child support is under the Guidelines will be based on the income of the two parents and the custody arrangements.
Medical Expenses and Child Care Expenses
Parents may be ordered to cover health insurance on their children if it is reasonably available. The cost of the minor children’s portion of the premium is generally shared equally by the parents unless one parent has the ability to make substantially more or less than the other. Likewise the cost of any non-insured medical expenses, including deductibles and co-payments must be paid by both parents, usually equally, unless one parent can show circumstances warrant a deviation. Parents must generally also pay equally for work-related child-care expenses unless circumstances warrant one parent to pay a higher or lower percentage. Paying and Collecting Child Support Child support may be ordered to be paid out of the paying parent’s pay checks as withholding or through the Office of Recovery Services.
Enforcing a Child Support Order and Seeking Contempt Sanctions
Whether it is base child support or medical support or child care support, all of it is considered child support. If a parent ordered to pay child support does not do so, the receiving parent may file a Motion for Order to Show Cause with the court to seen enforcement. In this motion, the receiving spouse asks the court to enforce the child support order. The court may issue a judgment for past due child support, including pre- and post-judgment interest. The receiving spouse may also seek contempt against the other spouse who did not pay by showing that the paying spouse knew of the order but did not pay anyway. In that case, the court may also find the non-paying spouse in contempt of court and order him or her to pay a fine of up to $1,000 or even to serve up to thirty (30) days in jail. Custodial parents may not withhold parent time, even if child support is not being paid. Likewise, a parent may not withhold child support even if parent time is being denied. Registering a Foreign Order If a spouse has an order for alimony, child support, or other issues regarding domestic matters from another state or the United States federal government, it is a “foreign order” that may be registered with a Utah Court under such laws as Utah Foreign Judgment Act, the Utah Uniform Child Custody and Enforcement Act (as to child custody) and Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (as to child support or alimony). Orders from foreign countries outside the United States may be registered but under other legal principals. In circumstances where a foreign order from another country needs to be registered for recognition in Utah, one must demonstrate such factors as the presence of a treaty between the countries or under public policy arguments where the court may exercise of judicial discretion. A separate action would need to be filed in a Utah court to seek recognition and enforcement of another’s country’s domestic order. Before a Utah court can enforce or modify the foreign order, it first must be registered in Utah. Why Trupiano Law Is Successful
- Aggressive — Although attorney Kim Trupiano works to find resolutions where they can be obtained, she prepares for trial, not for settlement. Kim exploits any hole in the other side’s case to gain advantage and maximize the positive outcomes for her clients.
- Thorough — Kim’s attention to detail is essential to challenging evidence in court proceedings and producing a strong evidentiary case for her client, including strongly-backed and detailed motions for relief.
- Compassionate — She eases client concerns by taking the time to explain clients’ rights, explore their options and keep them updated about progress in the case.
- Creative — Kim does her homework to raise new defense and affirmative relief theories, or to negotiate alternative resolutions and outcomes.
Contact Trupiano Law in Salt Lake City, Utah, for experienced legal counsel. Call 801-266-0166 for a telephone consultation or for an in-office meeting to go over your case. Call Trupiano Law at 801-266-0166 or contact her online.