Child support is an argumentative issue between divorcing parents. But once the court has ordered you to pay support, you are legally bound by this directive and must make all the payments until the order is terminated or modified. If you should not, there can be severe consequences, including jail. However, it’s extremely unlikely to lose child custody due to a lack of child support payment.
Child support in Utah
After a separation or divorce, the Utah courts ensure the children’s financial needs are adequately cared for. Typically if one parent earns more than the other and the child spends more time with the lowest-earning parent (custodial parent) than the other, child support is used to level out the financial burden of raising a child.
Fail to pay child support in Utah
In most cases, a government organization is assigned to ensure that the children receive all financial and medical support from their parents; they enforce orders from the court. In Utah, the organization is recognized as the Office of Recovery Services (ORS).
It’s ORS’s highest priority to alleviate this hardship on the child and custodial parent. So, in most cases, if you fail to pay child support, the ORS will investigate and use financial enforcement.
Contempt of court charges
If you are ever accused of being in contempt of court, you will have to explain why you are not paying child support. We recommend having legal representation when doing this, as a guilty verdict can have some severe consequences. If you are found guilty, you can expect to go to jail for 180+ days and face a fine for each violation.
Will you lose custody due to missed payments?
If you don’t pay child support, the lowest-earning parent (custodial parent) is not entitled to stop you from seeing the child. Your parental plan, and your parental rights remain unchanged.
The child’s best interests come first in such matters. The preference in Utah is always for both parents to be involved in the raising of the child. That is usually in the child’s best interests, and it doesn’t change because of financial difficulties.
If you should have any more questions about child support and need advice, contact our expert child support and child custody attorneys here at Burton Law. Get your free consultation today when you call.
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