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The most commonly asked questions in divorce all revolve around this

Everyone wants to know how to get out of child support in Utah. Money is always tight during an divorce, and handing a chunk of your hard- earned cash to your ex every month can be extremely difficult for a lot of people. However, it’s important to remember that the money you’re giving to your ex is going toward your child. After all, child support has very little to do with your ex, and it has everything to do with the child you have with your ex. When couples first begin the divorce process, most spouses have questions about child support. The following are the most commonly asked questions regarding child support.

“Can You Divorce and Not Pay Child Support?”

Utah does not allow you to waive child support.  The child support is for the child and therefore, not for the parents to decide if you can or cannot pay.  It is best for a child to receive financial support from both parents. If you completed a divorce without the help of a court or mediation, you may have an arrangement worked out with your ex where you do not pay child support but only if your incomes are comparable and you share 50/50 custody.  Or child support is lower and you choose to waive it based on one of the four factors required in Utah. But such arrangements would be extremely unusual. For the most part, if you’re getting divorced, and you have children, and you are the higher earner, you should plan on paying child support.

“How Much Child Support Do You Pay?”

How much child support you will pay is mostly based on your income and how much physical custody you have. So, if your child lives with you half of the time, you will likely pay less child support than you would if the child didn’t live with you at all. Online child support calculators may be able to give you some estimate of how much child support you can expect to pay. But each situation is different, so you may end up paying more than the estimate or less than the estimated child support.

“Do I Pay Child Support iIf My Wife Makes More Money?”

You may still be asked to pay child support even if your wife, or husband, makes more money than you do. This is because it’s in the best interest of your child to have financial support from both parents, regardless of how much or how little a parent earns. Judges also want children to have a life that resembles the life they had before the divorce occurred. In a lot of cases, both incomes need to contribute to providing that life for the child. Kelly Clarkson was famously ordered to pay $50,000.00 per month for child support even though her husband was far from impoverished. Though most children can, and do, live off of far less than that, the judges felt it was important for the children to have a comfortable life with their father, just like they have with their mother.


“How Can I Avoid Child Support?”

Truthfully, the best way to get out of child support is to not have children. The other way you can get out of child support is if you petition the court to voluntarily terminate your parental rights. However, such petitions are rarely granted and they are never granted on the sole purpose of avoiding your financial obligations. If your ex has remarried and their new spouse would like to adopt your child, a judge may grant your petition to terminate rights. But if nobody wants to adopt your child in your place, you will likely be unable to terminate your rights. Some people decide to quit their jobs in order to prevent their child from getting financial support. However, since child support is based on earning potential, not actual income, a parent will still have to pay child support even if they’re voluntarily unemployed or voluntarily reducing their income. Aside from refraining from procreation, there’s no way to prevent being legally obligated to financially support your own child. 

“My Ex Won’t Pay Child Support”

If your ex is not paying child support, you may need to file a motion to enforce the court order.  An experienced family law attorney can help you accomplish this. Unfortunately, a lot of parents try to take child support issues into their own hands. When an ex is behind on child support payments, some parents decide to disallow visitation. Do not do this. A judge may interpret interference with parent time as discouraging the parent-child relationship with your ex. Therefore, if you need help getting payment on child support, contact one of our family law attorneys today. 


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