Utah Child Custody & Utah Child Support
Utah courts, like family courts in all states, encourage parents to work together in agreeing to the details of raising their children after a divorce because a cooperative agreement is usually reflective of the best interests of the children. If the parents are unable to come to an agreement, the court will step in to make decisions on child custody, visitation, and child support, and will do so with the best interests of the children in mind. The following are the laws governing Utah child custody and support.
Utah Child Custody:
Utah courts determine all custody issues in terms of the best interests of the children. The court will consider all relevant facts and give the father and mother the same consideration regardless of the child’s sex or age. Either a sole or joint custody decision will be reached. The factors the court will consider include, among others: the children’s age, their health, their wishes, the parental roles, and other needs of the children.
Utah Child Support:
Child support in Utah is determined in accordance with the Income Shares Model for child support, where each parent's income is considered in relative proportion. The support amounts calculated from each parent then help decide which parent must pay the other in order to maintain the correct proportion and provide for the needs of the child.
These guidelines are not always followed, but a decision to follow a different standard will require supportive evidence showing 1) all the factors that affect the parties financial obligations differently, and 2) how applying a standard other than the Income Shares Model will more effectively preserve the best interests of the child.
The factors that can be considered here are numerous, and include but are not limited to the following:
- Pre-dissolution or pre-separation standard of living that the child enjoyed
- Monetary support provided for other family members
- Debts arising during the marriage for the child's benefit
- Imputed income to a party who is voluntarily unemployed for the child's benefit
- Court-ordered payments for health care and education for the child's benefit
- Children's independent financial resources, if any
- Education, training, and/or career opportunities of the parties and/or ability to pursue those things
A lawyer can help you sort through your rights and responsibilities when it comes to raising your children after a divorce, and can also serve as your advocate and/or counsel when negotiating a parenting agreement. You can find a lawyer at:
Utah Divorce/Child Support/Child Custody Lawyers:
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