How Much Child Support Is Right?
Raising children, it is sometimes said, takes an open heart, an open mind and an open wallet. The inevitable financial strains of a Long Island divorce can create some big questions when it comes to sharing the expenses of parenting.
What can I expect for child support?
According to Utah Child Support Standards guidelines, the costs of supporting a child are calculated as a percentage of the combined adjusted income of both parents (after taxes, spousal support and other child support), capped at $130,000 and broken down as follows:
- One child: 17 percent
- Two children: 25 percent
- Three children: 29 percent
- Four children: 31 percent
- Five or more children: at least 35 percent
This figure is then divided according to each parent’s share of the total income. Non-custodial parents may also be expected to contribute to child care expenses, allowing the custodial parent to go to work or school, as well as the children’s health care and education costs. The percentages are only guidelines. A settlement agreement made between the spouses, as long as it is fair and in keeping with the technical standards of Utah’s Child Support Standards Act, is acceptable.
What if child support is not paid?
Failure to pay child support results in enforcement proceedings against the non-custodial parent. Your attorney can help you seek enforcement through Utah’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.
What if I can no longer afford to pay my court-ordered child support?
Pursuant to the October 14, 2010 update of Utah Child Support laws, if your income has dropped at least 15 percent, your attorney can petition the court to have the support order modified.
Is Mediation a Better Choice than Divorce If You Have Children?
Divorce is hardest on children. Regardless of how young kids are, they know when something is wrong between their parents. However, when a couple uses traditional divorce methods, the process of separating can be even harder on children. In addition to being more cost-effective, mediation enables a family to sustain a divorce in a gentler manner.
Mediation is a positive process that focuses on moving forward instead of arguing over mistakes from the past. The process takes place in a comfortable environment agreed upon by each spouse. While this may not seem like a big change, a venue other than a courtroom can significantly reduce hostility between spouses.
Mediation occurs over several short sessions that focus on cooperation rather than conflict. A third-party mediator guides the couple toward making mutually beneficial decisions. In other words, spouses take control of their future, instead of allowing the court to make decisions for them.
You and your spouse determine the pace of mediation. The process can take as long as you want it to. Additionally, in mediation, you and your spouse can outline a parenting plan for your children. You can discuss custody and visitation rights and determine when each parent will spend time with your children.
The ending of a marriage is an emotional event. However, with mediation, you have the option of reducing the impact the event has on the lives of your children.
Free Consultation with Child Support Lawyer
If you have a question about child support or if you need to collect back child support, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will aggressively fight for you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506