CS 104P Opening a Support Follows the Child Case, Overview

01/24/01 Revised 06/29/16 Training Completed 07/13/16

U.C.A. 78B-12-102, 78B-12-108, 78B-12-205, and 78B-12-212



Statutory Authority


Utah law found at U.C.A. 78B-12-108 states:

(1) Obligations ordered for child support and medical expenses are for the use and benefit of the child and shall follow the child.

(2) Except in cases of joint physical custody and split custody as defined in Section 78B-12-102, when physical custody changes from that assumed in the original order, the parent without physical custody of a child shall be required to pay the amount of support determined in accordance with Sections 78B-12-205 and 78B-12-212, without the need to modify the order for:

(a) the parent who has physical custody of the child;

(b) a relative to whom physical custody of the child has been voluntarily given; or

(c) the state when the child is residing outside of the home in the protective custody, temporary custody, or custody or care of the state or a state-licensed facility for at least 30 days. (Emphasis added)


This statute facilitates the collection of child support for parents who willingly agree to a change in physical custody without the need to have their judicial order modified.


Only a court with jurisdiction or the parent who has court ordered legal custody of the child(ren) may decide if legal custody can or cannot change. Even if physical custody of the child(ren) changes and the former custodial parent starts paying child support, legal custody does not change until the court orders a change in legal custody.


Apply this statute from the date physical custody changed or May 1, 2000 (the date the statute went into effect), whichever is later. For example, if physical custody changed January 13, 2000, you would only apply this statute from May 1, 2000.