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Utah Child Custody and Support Guidelines

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Utah Child Custody and Support Guidelines:

The court shall, in every case, consider joint custody but may award any form of custody which is determined to be in the best interest of the child. In determining any form of custody, the court shall consider the best interests of the .

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In determining whether the best interest of a child will be served by ordering joint legal or physical custody, the court shall consider the following factors:

  • Whether the physical, psychological, and emotional needs and development of the child will benefit from joint legal or physical custody.

  • The ability of the parents to give first priority to the welfare of the child and reach shared decisions in the child's best interest.

  • Whether each parent is capable of encouraging and accepting a positive relationship between the child and the other parent, including the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other parent.

  • Whether both parents participated in raising the child before the divorce.

  • The geographical proximity of the homes of the parents.

  • The preference of the child if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent preference as to joint legal or physical custody.

  • The maturity of the parents and their willingness and ability to protect the child from conflict that may arise between the parents.

  • The past and present ability of the parents to cooperate with each other and make decisions jointly.

  • Any history of, or potential for, child abuse, spouse abuse, or kidnapping.

  • Any other factors the court finds relevant.

[Based on Utah Code 30-3-10]

Child Support:

Each parent's child support obligation shall be established in proportion to their adjusted gross incomes, unless the low income table is applicable. The parents are obligated to pay their proportionate shares of the base combined child support obligation according to the Utah child support guidelines.

The court may include, in an order determining child support, an order assigning financial responsibility for all or a portion of child care expenses incurred on behalf of the dependent children, necessitated by the employment or training of the custodial parent. If the court determines that the circumstances are appropriate and that the dependent children would be adequately cared for, it may include an order allowing the non-custodial parent to provide child care for the dependent children, necessitated by the employment or training of the custodial parent. Whenever a court enters an order for child support, it shall include in the order a provision for withholding income as a means of collecting child support. [Based on Utah Code 30-3-5, 30-3-5.1, and 78-45-7.11]

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