Utah Child Support

How to Apply for Child Support in Utah

Utah child support is often ordered when the child’s parents are not married and need to split the costs of raising the youngster. Parents can apply either online or in person with Utah’s Office of Recovery Services through a paper form. The Office of Recovery Services (ORS) advises parents to utilize the online form where possible. Paternity must be established in order for the non-custodial parent to be held accountable financially, but courts can assist parents with ordering other parties to take genetic tests to confirm or deny paternity. Download Forms.

Utah Child Support Calculator

Support in Utah follows a specific set of guidelines designed to meet the child’s basic needs, medical care and child care expenses. Your specific custody arrangement will greatly impact the level of support you pay to the other parent.

How to Claim and Pay Child Support?

Parents can claim payments through Utah’s EPPICard which will electronically transfer funds or through direct deposit to their account. To make payments, parents can either pay at an ORS cashier window in person, through the mail, over the phone, online or by electronic funds transfer.

Child Support Performance Stats for Utah

In 2017, Utah’s ORS collected and dispersed over $221 million in payments. Paternity is unresolved in less than four percent of all open cases, and support orders were established in nearly 88 percent of cases.

Statistics for Regular On-Time Payments Collection

Other Incentive Performance Measures

Performance Measures 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Statewide Paternity Establishment (%) 99.91 107.94 98.19 106.08 101.56
IV-D Paternity Establishment (%) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Support Order Establishment (%) 89.59 90.64 89.35 87.72 86.72
Cost-Effectiveness ($) 6.37 6.05 6.47 6.53 6.4

Total Number of Children in the Child Support Program

Total Distributed Collections and Total Administrative Expenditures ($ Millions)

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Total Distributed Collections ($) 194.72 200.15 205.11 208.93 212.27
Total Distributed to Families ($) 183.99 191.19 196.52 201 204.3
Total Administrative Expenditures ($) 32.54 35.19 33.71 34.04 35.31

Average Collections per Case with Collections

Can the support be paid off early?

It’s not advised that Utah parents attempt to pay off support early because circumstances may change in the future that alter support agreements.

What Will Happen if You fall Behind Child Support Payment?

  • Reporting late payments to credit bureaus
  • Liens against property and assets
  • Levying of bank account
  • Suspension of driver’s license
  • Withholding of federal income tax refunds
  • Withholding income

Can you get alimony and support at the same time?

It is possible for one parent to receive both alimony and support at the same time. The support is meant to provide for the child while alimony is meant to support the former spouse.

Can you stop the support payments?

In Utah, a support order must be obeyed. Regardless of circumstances, never stop making payments or you could suffer consequences for non-payment. Support payments can be terminated once the child reaches the age of majority.

Child Support and Taxes

Support orders in Utah can establish which parent will be able to claim the child on their federal and state income taxes. Courts will consider the costs of raising the child, the relative tax benefit to each parent and the custodial obligations of each parent when making their decision on the exemption.

Can child support payments be claimed on taxes in Utah?

The IRS will not consider child support payments a taxable income. These payments cannot be deducted from the parent’s annual taxes.

How does my child support affect my taxes in Utah?

The parent receiving support payments does not need to report the payments as income.

Can child support be taken pre tax?

All support payments are made after income has already been taxed.

Can child support Take my federal tax return?

In Utah, the state may withhold your federal tax return if you are delinquent on your payments.

Paternity Establishment

Paternity establishment is crucial in determining each parent’s rights and responsibilities regarding the child. Support can’t be ordered until paternity has been accurately established, and visitation rights can’t be enforced when paternity is unclear. Both parties benefit when paternity is acknowledged and established.

How do you establish paternity?

Establishing paternity can be done three ways in Utah. Unmarried parents may voluntarily establish paternity before the child is born, parents may request an administrative paternity order for genetic testing or a judicial paternity order may be ordered by the court.

What rights does a father have if not on birth certificate?

If a father is not on the child’s birth certificate, then the mother is given the right to custody after birth. The father will have to petition the courts for paternity rights.

Can a mother refuse me paternity test?

No. When a judicial or administrative paternity order is administered, the mother cannot deny the father an opportunity to have a paternity test.

How to establish paternity if the father is deceased?

Unfortunately, the online court assistance program of Utah does not have an option for children seeking paternity answers when one parent is deceased. You will need to request a court-ordered genetic test for the deceased parent’s family members, but there must be a very good reason for the parent to be seeking paternity answers to receive this order from the court.

Can a father get a paternity test without the mother?

Yes. In Utah, potential fathers have a right to have a paternity order and petition the court for a paternity test even when the mother doesn’t agree with the order.

How long does a father have to establish paternity in Utah?

Yes. In Utah, potential fathers have a right to have a paternity order and petition the court for a paternity test even when the mother doesn’t agree with the order.

Support Order Establishment

Support orders are typically established when one parent seeks a support order through the Office of Recovery Services in Utah. The agency will assist in locating missing parents, establishing paternity, establishing the support order and enforcing the orders.

State Child Support Orders

State ordered child support is an official government order that can’t be ignored without consequence. In most cases, the non-custodial parent will make regular payments to the custodial parent to help assist with financial expenses associated with raising the child. Parents often make these arrangements without needing to involve family courts, but many utilize the court's services to establish a state order.

Can the support be modified?

Yes, parents can petition the court for a modification of their support order. It’s possible to modify the payment amounts when circumstances have changed, there is at least a ten percent difference between support ordered and support required by law or when the child has become emancipated.

In Utah, you can modify a support order when it has been three or more years since the order was initiated or when you meet specific conditions.

How do I file for a modification of child support?

The ORS will review all written requests for a modification of support orders that qualifies for a review. Both parents will need to fill out a financial statement and provide verification about their incomes.

Can a support order appealed?

A support order is very unlikely to be appealed. While circumstances may dictate a modification or reduction, courts generally assume that both parents have a duty to financially provide for the child until they reach the age of majority.

Do you need a lawyer to modify the support?

It isn’t necessary to hire a lawyer to request a modification of support orders in Utah.

Child Support Enforcement

How long does the child support enforcement take?

Processing times are affected by things like whether or not paternity needs to be established and if a non-custodial parent can be located.

What to do when child support is not paid?

When one parent has failed to pay child support, the other parent needs to file an enforcement action against the non-paying parent in court.

What Happens if I’m not paying Child support?

Judges have the discretion to initiate a number of enforcement orders including withholding wages, suspending the driver’s license, filing liens against property or assets or levying the parent’s bank accounts.

How much overdue child support payment can be considered a felony?

Non-paying parents may face a felony criminal charge when they’ve been late for over two years.

Can child support debt be forgiven?

Child support debt is only forgiven in very rare circumstances.

Support Order Termination

How do I stop a child support order?

It is not possible to stop a support order before the child reaches the age of majority unless the parent wishes to relinquish their parental rights and there is a valid reason for attempting to cancel support.

When Can I Apply for Child Support Termination?

When the child has turned 18, graduated from high school, is emancipated, joins the military or passes away.

Can the custodial parent close a child support case?

Yes, the custodial parent can request for a case to be closed; however, only a court can close a case.

When Can I Stop Paying Child Support?

Parents can apply to terminate support when the child has turned 18, graduated from high school, is emancipated, joins the military or passes away.

What is the legal age to stop paying child support?

The legal age of majority in Utah is 18.

Utah Hearing Rights

Utah’s laws provide the father, mother and child the right to pursue a paternity hearing when the issue of paternity is unclear. Unmarried parents have all the same rights as married parents.

Utah Child Support Guidelines

Utah courts will generally follow strict guidelines unless there is significant evidence that would constitute a deviation. Utah guidelines take into account both parent’s standard of living, both party’s wealth and income, the ability for both parents to achieve employment, the needs of the child and the ages of all parties.

What Does Child Support Cover in Utah

What is child support meant to cover?

Support is meant to cover the basic financial needs of each child including shelter, food, clothing, and basic education under Utah Child Support laws.

Does Child Support Cover Medical Care Expenses?

Yes, Utah’s support orders are designed to meet the medical care expenses of the child.

What if Both Parents are working, will Child Support Cover child care services?

Yes, support can be sued to pay for childcare services.

Are Car Maintenance Costs Covered by Utah Child Support?

In Utah, the parent receiving support payments has the discretion to utilize the money however they’d like so long as the child’s basic needs are being met. Parents can use support to pay for car maintenance costs.

What is Considered Basic Entertainment for Child Support?

Basic entertainment includes expenses related to age-appropriate forms of entertainment like movie theater tickets, access to cable television shows, computers, the internet or amusement park tickets.

Are College expenses Covered by Child Support?

Judges will decide whether college expenses will be covered by support on a case-by-case basis in Utah.

Are Extracurricular Activities covered by Support?

Yes, parents receiving support payments can utilize the money to fund extracurricular activities.

Are School Related Costs Covered by Child Support?

Yes, a child’s basic educational needs are covered by Utah’s support orders.

Useful links

Utah Child Support Offices

Institution name Physical address Email address Phone number Website
Child Support Services - ORS 515 East 100 South Salt Lake City, UT orswebcic@utah.gov (801) 536-8500 http://ors.utah.gov/child_support_services.htm

County Child Support Offices in UT

County name Institution name Physical address Email address Phone number Website
Weber County Weber County, UT Ogden Child Support Office 2540 Washington Blvd., Ogden, UT 84401 N/A 1(801) 536-8500 http://ors.utah.gov/child_support_services.htm
Salt Lake County Salt Lake County, UT Salt Lake City Child Support Office 515 East 100 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84102 N/A 1(801) 536-8500 http://ors.utah.gov/child_support_services.htm
Utah County Utah County, UT Provo Child Support Office 150 East Center Street, Provo, UT 84663 N/A 1(801) 536-8500 http://ors.utah.gov/child_support_services.htm
Washington County Washington County, UT St. George Child Support Office 33 North 100 West, Suite 100, St. George, UT 84770 N/A 1(801) 536-8500 http://ors.utah.gov/child_support_services.htm

Download Child support Forms for Utah