How does child support work in Utah?

How does child support work in Utah?

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Child support in Utah is the financial support paid by parents to help cover the costs of raising their child after a separation or divorce. This support is crucial for ensuring that the child’s basic needs such as food, housing, education, and healthcare are met.


In Utah, child support is calculated using a set formula, which considers both parents’ gross monthly income, whether the parent has sole custody, split custody, or joint custody which establishes the number of overnights the child(ren) spends in each household. The court calculates the amount of child support each parent is responsible for paying. Child Support is typically paid by the non-custodial parent to help cover the child’s basic needs. At RCG Law Group in South Jordan we can guide you through the process of obtaining, paying, or modifying child support and discuss the specific circumstances of your child support matter.

Child Support Calculator Worksheet:;jsessionid=B2dn5PLvsvNupZR27olsN92kQ9yZT8U38if0zZoS.ip-10-204-48-148

In Utah, child support cannot be waived. Every divorce and legal separation case involving minor children, and Paternity actions, must include an order for child support. Parents in Utah have a legal obligation to support their children, whether or not a parent is exercising parent time or taking care of the child(ren). It’s important to follow the court’s order regarding child support payments, as failure to do so can result in legal consequences. For specific information regarding your child support case, contact the experts at RCG Law Group for a consultation. In Utah, child support payments are not tax deductible by the payor. Both the payor and payee are not subject to taxes in regards to child support.


In Utah, Utah law establishes Child Support. The Utah Department of Health & Human Services, Recovery Services governs the administration and collection of Child Support.  Their primary mission is to promote responsibility and help ensure that parents are financially responsible for their children by providing child support services and support for children in care. In Utah, child support is used for the living expenses of a child, including necessities such as food, shelter, medical expenses, health insurance, and clothing. Child Support services are available to parents and caregivers who complete a child support application.

Child Support Services Offered by State of Utah Office of Recovery Services:

  • Establishing child support orders
  • Setting medical support orders and monitoring them for insurance coverage
  • Locating parents to collect support
  • Establishing paternity
  • Changing support orders
  • Collecting child support and enforcing support orders
  • Collecting health insurance premiums and medical judgments obtained by parents
  • Collecting spousal support when combined with child support
  • Processing, recording, and distributing child support payments (Payments can be made via lobby kiosks, online, phone and walk-in-retail)

The current child support guidelines for the State of Utah became effective January 1, 2023. The next quadrennial review will be in 2025.


If there is a substantial change of circumstances in regard to a parents’ income or assets, a Commissioner or Judge in Utah may modify child support based on those changes. At RCG Law Group our attorneys are very experienced in child support matters and can legally advise you based on your specific circumstances.

In Utah, the terms “petition to modify child support” and “motion to modify child support” are often used interchangeably, but they represent different procedural steps in the process of changing an existing child support order.

Petition to Modify Child Support:

A petition is generally a formal written request to start a case, which in this context is submitted to the court to initiate the modification process of an existing child support order.

This petition is usually required when there are substantial and material changes in circumstances that could justify a revision of the original child support amount. These changes might include a significant change in either parent’s income, a change in custody arrangements, or a change in the needs of the child.

Filing a petition typically involves a more comprehensive process including serving the other party with the petition, potentially allowing for a response, and possibly going through a hearing process where both parties can present their cases.

Motion to Modify Child Support:

A motion, on the other hand, is a request filed in an ongoing case, asking the court to issue a specific order, or modify an existing one within the same case framework but is only allowed in limited circumstances.

Motions can sometimes be more procedural and might be focused on more immediate or interim adjustments pending a more thorough review or final decision by the court. But will almost certainly be quicker and less expensive than a petition.

For anyone seeking to modify a child support order in Utah, it’s highly recommended to consult with a qualified family law attorney. The attorney can provide guidance on the appropriate procedural steps to take and help ensure that the paperwork is filed correctly and efficiently, according to Utah law and local court practices.

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