Chief Sponsor: Lyle W. Hillyard

House Sponsor: Val K. Potter


8     General Description:
9          This bill modifies provisions related to calculating child support.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     addresses the impact of incarceration;
13          ▸     modifies how imputed income is calculated; and
14          ▸     makes technical changes.
15     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
16          None
17     Other Special Clauses:
18          None
19     Utah Code Sections Affected:
20     AMENDS:
21          78B-12-203, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 41

23     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
24          Section 1. Section 78B-12-203 is amended to read:
25          78B-12-203. Determination of gross income -- Imputed income.
26          (1) As used in the guidelines, "gross income" includes prospective income from any
27     source, including earned and nonearned income sources which may include salaries, wages,
28     commissions, royalties, bonuses, rents, gifts from anyone, prizes, dividends, severance pay,
29     pensions, interest, trust income, alimony from previous marriages, annuities, capital gains,

30     Social Security benefits, workers' compensation benefits, unemployment compensation,
31     income replacement disability insurance benefits, and payments from "nonmeans-tested"
32     government programs.
33          (2) Income from earned income sources is limited to the equivalent of one full-time
34     40-hour job. If and only if during the time [prior to] before the original support order, the
35     parent normally and consistently worked more than 40 hours at the parent's job, the court may
36     consider this extra time as a pattern in calculating the parent's ability to provide child support.
37          (3) Notwithstanding Subsection (1), specifically excluded from gross income are:
38          (a) cash assistance provided under Title 35A, Chapter 3, Part 3, Family Employment
39     Program;
40          (b) benefits received under a housing subsidy program, the Job Training Partnership
41     Act, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicaid, SNAP
42     benefits, or General Assistance; and
43          (c) other similar means-tested welfare benefits received by a parent.
44          (4) (a) Gross income from self-employment or operation of a business shall be
45     calculated by subtracting necessary expenses required for self-employment or business
46     operation from gross receipts. The income and expenses from self-employment or operation of
47     a business shall be reviewed to determine an appropriate level of gross income available to the
48     parent to satisfy a child support award. Only those expenses necessary to allow the business to
49     operate at a reasonable level may be deducted from gross receipts.
50          (b) Gross income determined under this [subsection] Subsection (4) may differ from
51     the amount of business income determined for tax purposes.
52          (5) (a) When possible, gross income should first be computed on an annual basis and
53     then recalculated to determine the average gross monthly income.
54          (b) Each parent shall provide verification of current income. Each parent shall provide
55     year-to-date pay stubs or employer statements and complete copies of tax returns from at least
56     the most recent year unless the court finds the verification is not reasonably available.
57     Verification of income from records maintained by the Department of Workforce Services may

58     be substituted for pay stubs, employer statements, and income tax returns.
59          (c) Historical and current earnings shall be used to determine whether an
60     underemployment or overemployment situation exists.
61          (6) Incarceration of at least six months may not be treated as voluntary unemployment
62     by the office in establishing or modifying a support order.
63          [(6)] (7) Gross income includes income imputed to the parent under Subsection [(7)]
64     (8).
65          [(7)] (8) (a) Income may not be imputed to a parent unless the parent stipulates to the
66     amount imputed, the parent defaults, or, in contested cases, a hearing is held and the judge in a
67     judicial proceeding or the presiding officer in an administrative proceeding enters findings of
68     fact as to the evidentiary basis for the imputation.
69          (b) If income is imputed to a parent, the income shall be based upon employment
70     potential and probable earnings [as derived from] considering, to the extent known:
71          (i) employment opportunities[,];
72          (ii) work history[,];
73          (iii) occupation qualifications[,];
74          (iv) educational attainment;
75          (v) literacy;
76          (vi) age;
77          (vii) health;
78          (viii) criminal record;
79          (ix) other employment barriers and background factors; and
80          (x) prevailing earnings and job availability for persons of similar backgrounds in the
81     community[, or the median earning for persons in the same occupation in the same
82     geographical area as found in the statistics maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics].
83          (c) If a parent has no recent work history or a parent's occupation is unknown, [income
84     shall be imputed at least] that parent may be imputed an income at the federal minimum wage
85     for a 40-hour work week. To impute a greater or lesser income, the judge in a judicial

86     proceeding or the presiding officer in an administrative proceeding shall enter specific findings
87     of fact as to the evidentiary basis for the imputation.
88          (d) Income may not be imputed if any of the following conditions exist and the
89     condition is not of a temporary nature:
90          (i) the reasonable costs of child care for the parents' minor children approach or equal
91     the amount of income the custodial parent can earn;
92          (ii) a parent is physically or mentally unable to earn minimum wage;
93          (iii) a parent is engaged in career or occupational training to establish basic job skills;
94     or
95          (iv) unusual emotional or physical needs of a child require the custodial parent's
96     presence in the home.
97          [(8)] (9) (a) Gross income may not include the earnings of a minor child who is the
98     subject of a child support award nor benefits to a minor child in the child's own right such as
99     Supplemental Security Income.
100          (b) Social security benefits received by a child due to the earnings of a parent shall be
101     credited as child support to the parent upon whose earning record it is based, by crediting the
102     amount against the potential obligation of that parent. Other unearned income of a child may
103     be considered as income to a parent depending upon the circumstances of each case.