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What happens when the child support doesn’t come?

Just like in other states around the country, it’s true that Utah has legislation on the books regarding many family law issues. Guidelines for the calculation and enforcement of child support payments are clearly defined by the State family court system. However, that does not necessarily mean that parents always abide by such policies. In the event that a parent does not receive the payments they are owed, there are a few things they can do to address the issue while keeping the best interests of the child in mind.

When one parent stops making child support payments, the parent with primary custody can sometimes consider withholding visitation rights to the child until payments resume. It’s recommended, however, that neither party makes changes to the visitation agreement. Instead, the parent that owes child support should be allowed to see their son or daughter as usual until they’re able to make payments again.

Sometimes there are legitimate reasons for being unable to pay on time. Therefore, parents have the option of having child support payments adjusted and/or decreased until their financial situation improves. Utah state anti-retroactive modification laws also help ensure that any child support changes are made in a timely fashion.

In the unfortunate case that a parent simply refuses or is unable to make payments at all, the party with primary custody may seek legal action. Though, authorities often wait six months before resorting to enforcement efforts like garnishing wages and/or revoking driver’s licenses.

Four years ago it was estimated that parents in the U. S. were owed more than $100 billion in child support payments. That amount has likely increased since.


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