“My ex quit his job and moved in with his parents in South Dakota. How will I collect child support?” Unfortunately, it’s not an uncommon scenario. Each year, many men and women quit their jobs in an effort to evade child support. Many parents struggle with the financial burden of being a single mom or dad. And, tragically, the children often pay the price when the non-custodial parent evades child support. If your ex-spouse has taken measures to evade child support, it is important to know your rights.
Understanding Utah’s Child Support Laws:
First things first: your ex needs to be ordered to pay child-support. In cases where the mother is seeking child support, paternity will need to be established. If the father has signed the birth certificate, paternity has already been established. If the father has not signed the birth certificate, a paternity test may be necessary. You can fill out an online application for child support services on the Office of Recovery Services’s website. If your ex-spouse has already been ordered to pay child support, you may ask the court to enforce the order. In Utah, biological parents of minors are obligated to financially care for their children. Evading child-support is a serious offense and is punishable by jail time.
Voluntary Unemployment and Reduction of Income:
If your ex is taking creative measures to evade child support, you may be wondering if it’s even legal. Your ex-spouse is allowed to choose their occupation, or whether or not to work at all.
For example, if your ex-husband has a PhD in organic chemistry, and he quits his teaching job to make minimum wage at a bike shop, he is well within his legal rights to do so. However, the amount of child support he pays will be based on his earning potential, not his actual income. Therefore, if he was a professor before the divorce, his child support payments should be based on that salary instead of his current salary. This is true even if your ex is hiding out at his parents’ house in a different state.
How Is Child Support Calculated?
In Utah, child support is calculated using both parents’ incomes and the number of children needing support. The Office of Recovery Services provides parents with an online tool to estimate child support. The Utah State Legislature also provides a table to help determine potential child support payments. Though it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how much a parent might owe, these calculations may be helpful in planning for the future.
Protecting Your Family:
Dealing with an ex-spouse who’s evading child support can be incredibly difficult. If you are beginning the divorce process, having an attorney on your side can save you a ton of time and mental energy. At CoilLaw, our attorneys are committed to protecting you and your family. We can help you navigate the intricacies of Utah’s child support laws and provide answers to any questions you may have. If you have concerns about family law or child support, CoilLaw is just a phone call away.