Hi everyone! My name is Trevor Osborn, I’m a Utah attorney working at Red law, and a question I frequently receive from my clients is: how ischild support calculated? This is a question that comes from both parents because.
The parent that is potentially going to have to pay child support is concerned that if the child support amount is so high they won’t be able to meet their obligations. They may lose their home, they may lose their car, they may fall further into debt. The party that’s potentially going to be receiving child support is concerned that if the child support amount they’re gonna be receiving isn’t.
Enough, they won’t have enough money to meet their obligations. There are a few factors that we consider when calculating child support. Now, the first factor that we consider when we calculate child support is the party’s income. We don’t just consider the income of the party that’s going to be.
Paying child support, but we also consider the income of the party that’s going to be receiving child support. In some cases what happens is one of the parties was employed previously but they’re not now maybe they were laid off, or they were fired, or they voluntarily resigned from their job. What the court can do.
Is take the salary that party was earning previously and impute income. What that means is the court will say, okay six months ago when you were working, you were making $20 per hour working 40 hours per week, so when we calculate child support we’re going to assume that you have the ability to make $20 per hour at 40 hours per week. In some cases the income of one of the party’s fluctuates more.
Than that. maybe they were in a a position where their salary was based on commission, or they were selfemployed. In instances like that, what the court can do is take an average over a period of time. The court may say, you’re making on average $100,000 per year.
So when we calculate child support, we’re going to assume you have the ability to make $100,00 per year, and then the court will use that amount when calculating child support. The court generally will not consider overtime pay or pay coming from other part time jobs.
In the calculation of child support. it can do that in some limited circumstances, but generally the court will not do that. The second factor that we use when we calculate child support is the number of children that the parties have together. Of course, if the parties have one child the child support obligation is going to be a lot.
Can You Reduce Your Child Support Obligation by Agreement
In family law cases, sometimes people come to me with a question that looks kinda like this: Look, I’ve done the calculation. I already know I’m going to have to pay some child support, but the other party in this case said, if I can have the home that we’ve been living in while we were married.
I won’t make you pay any child support. or sometimes, and quite frequently, what it looks like is a party will come and say Look, I’ve done some things in the past I shouldn’t have done. I’m worried that I might not get joint physical custody anyway. So the other party on this case said if I just agree to let them have primary.
Physical custody, they won’t make me pay any child support on this case. So the question is, can you do this? And the answer is: no, you cannot. Section 78B12201 in Utah Code says ‘Look, you can agree on the amount of child support that you’re going to pay.
In your own case but it has to be equal to or greater than the amount of child support that you would otherwise have to pay under the guidelines. So what that means is once you go on, for example, to The Office of Recovery Services website, and you use their child support calculator, and you take account for.
The type of physical custody that’s going to be awarded in your case, the income of both of the parties and so forth, and you come up with an amount of child support, you’re going to have to pay based on those factors, you can’t agree to an amount of child support less than what that amount is. Now the reason for that is because.
The state of utah, when they enacted these laws, they don’t want child support to be a bargaining chip for things that the parents of the children want. They don’t want the parents to be able to say, Look, I really want the home so let me agree to lower the amount of child support the my children are going to receive so that I can get the home.
The state of utah is interested in children actually receiving the amount of child support that’s needed to financially support them. So logically the next question is: what can I do then to lower the amount of child support that I’m going to have to pay? There are a couple things that you can do. One of the things that you can do is agree on the type of physical custody that’s going to be awarded.
If primary physical custody is going to be awarded to one party, the other party is going to have to pay quite a bit more in child support than if joint physical custody is awarded. Now remember that just because joint physical custody is awarded doesn’t mean that the children are going to be spending half of their overnights with.