What YOU Don't Know About The
Utah Child Support System

Utah state seal

The Utah Child Support program's primary mission is to promote responsibility. They help ensure that parents are financially responsible for their children by providing child support services and support for children in care.

visitor slogan: Child $upport Is About Children So Please Pay On Time

They also work to help ensure public funds are used appropriately through the efforts of our Bureau of Medical Collections. This program was established with the children in mind. The Office of Recovery Services, is an agency located within the Utah Department of Human Services. Within ORS, Child Support Services, is responsible for collecting child and medical support, Services include:


  • Locating Parents
  • Establishing Paternity
  • Establishing and modifying child support orders.
  • Enforcing child support orders and medical insurance obligations.



Note:

The Utah Child Support program can also collect spousal support (alimony) if a dollar amount is ordered with child support in the divorce decree.


Fatherhood

When an unmarried mother gives birth, the biological father of the child does not automatically have any of the legal rights or duties that go along with fatherhood. The law allows the mother, child, father or State of Utah to legally establish that a man is the father of a child. When this occurs, the child's paternity has been established. “Paternity establishment” gives unmarried parents all of the same rights and duties that married parents have when a child is born. Both parents have a responsibility to support the child.

When paternity is established, the father legally gains his portion of this responsibility. Because both parents must support a child, even when they do not live together, the parent without physical custody of the child is required to pay a set amount of monthly support to the parent with physical custody of the child.


Why is it important to establish paternity?


Paternity establishment is important for many reasons. Some of the reasons include:


FINANCIAL SUPPORT


The law requires both parents to support their child. This is true even when parents are not married to each other. Paternity establishment allows the child to receive financial support from both parents.


MEDICAL


Paternity establishment permits the child to be added to the father’s, as well as the mother’s, medical insurance.


FAMILY HEALTH HISTORY


A child may need to know if she/he has inherited any special health problems. Paternity establishment may help doctors to research the child’s family health history. In case a child or parent needs a donor for a transplant, knowing who the members of the immediate family are is important.


BENEFITS


Without paternity establishment, a child is not legally entitled to any of his/her father's benefits including: Social Security insurance benefits, inheritance rights, veteran's and other benefits.


RIGHTS


When paternity is established, the biological father has the same rights as a father of a child born in a marriage. Paternity establishment permits the father to pursue the rights that go along with fatherhood, including custody, parent-time (visitation), and decision-making regarding the child.


CITIZENSHIP


Parents provide the child with citizenship and/or nationality. If the father was not born in the United States, his/her place of origin may provide important rights to the child once paternity is legally established.


Applying for Support


The Office of Recovery Services offers services to establish paternity, to establish child support and medical support orders, and to collect/enforce on child support and medical support orders. Either parent may apply for services with their office. Private attorneys can also assist you with child support issues. The more information you provide in the application, the better. Also, be sure to attach to the application copies of all appropriate legal documents, such as:


  • Birth certificates
  • Voluntary Declaration of Paternity documents
  • Divorce decrees
  • Judgments
  • Order of modifications
You will be contacted if Utah Child Support needs further information to proceed.


Modification


The Utah Child Support obligations are computed using an income shares formula established by the Utah State legislature. This means that both parent's incomes are used to compute the monthly child support amount. The number of children and other factors are also used to determine how much obligated parents are required to pay. Child support guidelines worksheets and tables are used to calculate support obligations. If you believe the amount of current child support should be raised, it may be possible to pursue a review and adjustment of the support amount through ORS/CSS if there has been a substantial change in circumstances, or it has been more than three years since the order was issued, modified, or reviewed.

The review will determine whether the child support amount should be adjusted. An adjustment is the change to the ordered amount, which will result in a modification of your order. If an adjustment is appropriate, the new amount could be higher or lower than the amount in your present order. Before you request that ORS/CSS conduct a review and adjustment, you may want to estimate what the new support amount could be. If you want to request a review and adjustment of your support amount, please make your request in writing to ORS/CSS. If you request a review and adjustment and later ask to stop the process, it can only be stopped if the other parent does not request that it continue. If the process is stopped, neither parent can request a review for a period of one year.


Child Care


Utah Child Support can only collect child care at the request of either parent if the child care amount is included in a court order along with a child support obligation, and neither parent is disputing the monthly amount. ORS will try to enforce past-due child care expenses if you obtain a judgment from the court.


Can you collect support even if the other parent lives in another state?


Yes, If a non-custodial parent lives in another state, Utah Child Support will either send a notice to withhold income directly to the parent's employer in the other state or will ask that state to pursue child support collection. Even though each state operates independently from another, each is subject to Federal rules regarding how a child support case is handled. Once the case is sent to the other states child support agency, the case becomes that states case, and ORS/CSS cannot dictate how the case is handled.


Income withholding


Federal law requires Utah Child Support to send a mandatory income withholding to your employer within 2 business days in most child support cases. Income withholding means your employer will deduct child support from your paycheck and send it to Utah Child Support. An exception may be allowed for collection of support for children in care at the State Hospital or children receiving care through the Division of Services for People with Disabilities; however, delinquencies will result in a mandatory income withholding.


Will I still receive child support for my child in state care?


The stste of Utah requires child support be assigned to Utah Child Support when a child is placed in protective custody, temporary custody, or state care for at least 30 days. In accordance with this law, if a parent receives child support for a child while he or she is in the states care, the parent who received the support will be required to pay the amount to their Utah Child Support case. In addition, if a parent is receiving child support through the Office of Recovery Services/Child Support Services will open a case and collect the portion of current support for the child in care.


Utah Child Support Customer Service Department


Child Support Offices


Mailing address for all child support payments:
P.O. Box 45011
Salt Lake City, Utah 84145-0011


Salt Lake City
515 East 100 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84102
801-536-8500


Ogden
2540 Washington Blvd.
Ogden, Utah 84401
801-626-3475


Layton
523 Heritage Blvd. Suite 1
Layton, Utah 84041
801-779-2273


Provo
150 East Center Street
Suite 2100
Provo, Utah 84606
801-374-7233


Richfield
effective August 1st
687 North Main
Richfield, Utah 84701
435-896-5461


St. George
377 East Riverside Dr. Bldg.B, Suite C
St. George, Utah 84771
435-674-3900


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