ESTABLISH ORDER

CS 1366P CIC Determining Arrears for a First-time Child Support Order

10/02 Revised 06/01/18 Training Completed 08/15/12

U.C.A. 78A-6-1106

 

NOTE:  CIC-specific procedures contained in this section.

 

 

Statutory Authority

 

U.C.A. 78A-6-1106 Child support obligation when custody of a child is vested in an individual or institution:

“(3) Except as provided in Subsection (11), when a court places a child in state custody or if the guardianship of the child has been granted to another party and an agreement for a guardianship subsidy has been signed by the guardian, the court:

(a) shall order the parents, a parent, or other obligated individual to pay child support for each month the child is in state custody or cared for under a grant of guardianship; and

(b) shall inform the parents, a parent, or other obligated individual, verbally and in writing, of the requirement to pay child support in accordance with Title 78B, Chapter 12, Utah Child Support Act; and

(c) may refer the establishment of a child support order to the office.

(4) When a court chooses to refer a case to the office to determine support obligation amounts in accordance with Title 78B, Chapter 12, Utah Child Support Act, the court shall:

(a) make the referral within three working days after the day on which the court holds the hearing described in Subsection (2)(a); and

(b) inform the parents, a parent, or other obligated individual of:

(i) the requirement to contact the office within 30 days after the day on which the court holds the hearing described in Subsection (2)(a); and

(ii) the penalty described in Subsection (6) for failure to contact the office.

(5) Liability for child support ordered under Subsection (3) shall accrue:

(a) except as provided in Subsection (5)(b), beginning on day 61 after the day on which the court holds the hearing described in Subsection (2)(a), if there is no existing child support order for the child; or

(b) beginning on the day the child is removed from the child’s home, including time spent in detention or sheltered care, if the child is removed after having been returned to the child’s home from state custody.

 (6) (a) If the parents, a parent, or other obligated individual contacts the office within 30 days after the day on which the court holds the hearing described in Subsection (2)(a), the child support order may not include a judgment for past due support for more than two months.

(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (5) and (6)(a), the court may order the liability of support to begin to accrue from the date of the proceeding referenced in Subsection (3) if:

(i) the court informs the parents, a parent, or other obligated individual, as described in Subsection (4)(b), and the parents, a parent, or other obligated individual fails to contact the office within 30 days after the day on which the court holds the hearing described in Subsection (2)(a); and

(ii) the office took reasonable steps under the circumstances to contact the parents, parent, or other obligated individual within 30 days after the last day on which the parents, a parent, or other obligated individual was required to contact the office to facilitate the establishment of a child support order.

(c) For purposes of Subsection (6)(b)(ii), the office is presumed to have taken reasonable steps if the office:

(i) has a signed, returned receipt for a certified letter mailed to the address of the parents, a parent, or other obligated individual regarding the requirement that a child support order be established; or

(ii) has had a documented conversation, whether by telephone or in person, with the parents, a parent, or other obligated individual regarding the requirement that a child support order be established.

(7) In collecting arrears, the office shall comply with Section 62A-11-320 in setting a payment schedule or demanding payment in full.”

 

 

Definitions

 

1.                   Approximate 61st day – The Office of Recovery Services (ORS) considers the approximate 61st day as the first day of the month following the juvenile court hearing plus two months.

 

EXAMPLE:  The juvenile court hearing is held April 12th.  The approximate 61st day for establishing a first-time CIC order is July 1st (May 1st plus two months).

 

 

Determining Arrears on a First-Time Order

 

For the purpose of establishing a first-time order for a Children in Care (CIC) case, the basic rule is that child support begins on the first day of the month after the date of the juvenile court hearing.  However, if the date of the juvenile court hearing is the first day of the month, support begins with that month. 

 

EXAMPLE:

1.                   Hearing on the first day of the month.  The child went into custody on May 1st and the juvenile court hearing was held on May 1st.  The child support obligation would begin May 1st.

 

2.                   Hearing after the first day of the month.  The child went into custody on May 1st and the juvenile court hearing was held on May 15th.  The child support obligation would begin June 1st.

 

Although that is the basic rule, U.C.A. 78A-11-1106 further alters the arrears start date based on the actions of the parent(s) and of ORS.  Consider the criteria listed below when researching a case to determine when arrears should begin on a first-time child support order.

 

1.                   Did the parent(s) contact ORS within 30 calendar days of the hearing per U.C.A. 78A-6-1106(4) and (6)(a)?

a.                   No – If the parent(s) did not contact ORS within the first 30 calendar days of the hearing, continue to number 2.

b.                  Yes – If the parent(s) contacted ORS within the first 30 calendar days, the Presiding Officer will consider the following when taking a child support order:

i.                     Within first 60 days – If the order is being taken within the first 60 days of the hearing, the child support order will begin approximately the 61st day.

ii.                   After first 60 days – If the order is being taken after the first 60 days from the hearing, the child support order may not include a judgment for past-due support for more than two months.

 

NOTE:  U.C.A. 78A-6-1106 does not state that anything specific must occur when the parent contacts ORS.  If the parent contacts ORS, regardless of cooperation or agreement with child support during that contact, the parent gets the benefit described above.

 

2.                   Did ORS take reasonable steps to contact the parent(s) within the next 30 days (days 30-60 after the hearing) per U.C.A. 78A-6-1106(6)(b) and (c)?  This question is only applicable if the parent does not contact ORS within 30 calendar days of the hearing.  “Reasonable steps” include:

·                     A signed, returned receipt for a certified letter mailed to the address of the parent(s) regarding the requirement that a child support order be established (e.g., the Notice of Agency Action [NAA]); or,

·                     A documented conversation with the parent(s) regarding the requirement that a child support order be established.

a.                   No – If ORS did not take reasonable steps to contact the parent(s) within the next 30 days (days 30-60 after the hearing), the Presiding Officer will include arrears beginning the approximate 61st day.

b.                  Yes – If ORS took reasonable steps to contact the parent(s) within the next 30 days (days 30-60 after the hearing), the Presiding Officer will include arrears beginning the 1st of the month following the date of the hearing.

 

The pre-order agent will include the maximum possible arrears in the NAA based on the information available at the time the NAA is issued.  (For example, if the NAA is issued before it is known if ORS will be successful in taking reasonable steps, the NAA should assume that ORS will be successful and include those arrears.)

 

The Presiding Officer (PO) will reevaluate the amount of arrears that should be included in the first-time order based on all of the information at the time the order is issued.  (For example, if ORS is not successful in taking “reasonable steps” within days 30-60 after the hearing, the PO may need to reduce the arrears included in the order from those included in the NAA.)

 

NOTE:  There may be situations when a child is placed in the home then returns to a placement during the arrears time period.  If the child lives in the custodial parent’s home for more than 7 consecutive days for trial placement, child support shall not be collected for that month. 

 

 

Examples

 

EXAMPLE 1:  The child is placed into custody on May 1st and the juvenile court hearing is held on May 13th.  There is no existing child support order for the child in care.  The parent calls to discuss child support on May 15th.

NAA:  The pre-order agent sends out the NAA by certified mail in November and includes arrears for the months of September and October (the arrears are limited to two months since the father contacted ORS within the first 30 days of the hearing.)  The parent signs for the certified mail accepting service on December 2nd.

Order:  The PO issues a child support order January 5th and begins the parent’s support obligation as of November 1st, two months prior to January.  (The arrears are limited to two months at the time of the order because the father contacted ORS within the first 30 days of the hearing.)

 

EXAMPLE 2:  The child is placed into custody on May 1st and the juvenile court hearing is held May 15th.  There is no existing child support order for the child in care.  The parents call on June 10th to report their employment information and current address.

NAA:  The pre-order agent generates the NAA on June 12th and begins support as of June 1st (ongoing support only because the NAA is being issued within the first 60 days after the hearing).  The parents sign for the certified mail on July 15th.

Order:  The PO issues an order August 28th and begins support on the approximate 61st day following the hearing, August 1st.  The parents called within the first 30 calendar days, so the arrears do not commence any earlier than the “61st” day after the hearing.

 

EXAMPLE 3:  The child is placed into custody on March 2nd, and the juvenile court hearing is held March 2nd.  There is no existing child support order for the child in care.  The parent(s) does not contact ORS within the first 30 days.

NAA:  The pre-order agent sends the NAA to the parent(s) by certified mail on April 28th with support starting April 1st (the parent[s] did not contact ORS within the first 30 days, and at the point of the NAA, ORS could still meet its “reasonable steps”).  The certified mail comes back unclaimed.  The NAA is resent to a new address on July 13th and the certified mail is claimed on July 20th.

Order:  The PO issues the order on August 25th with support beginning with the month of June, approximately the 61st day.  The parent(s) did not contact ORS within the initial 30 days from the hearing and ORS did not take reasonable steps to contact the parent(s) within the following 30 days (no documented phone conversation and the certified mail was not claimed within the timeframe).

 

EXAMPLE 4:  The child is placed into custody on April 1st and the juvenile court hearing is held on April 14th.  There is no existing child support order for the child in care.  The parent(s) does not contact ORS within the first 30 days.

NAA:  The pre-order agent sends the NAA out for service using certified mail on May 20th with child support beginning May 1st (the 1st of the month after the hearing).  The NAA is returned unclaimed.  The pre-order agent contacts the parent(s) June 3rd to discuss the need for a child support order and documents the conversation in the case narratives.  The NAA is resent to the parent(s) and the certified mail is signed for on June 10th.

Order:  The PO issues the order on August 15th with support beginning with the month of May.  The parent(s) did not contact ORS within the initial 30 days from the hearing but ORS took reasonable steps to contact the parent(s) within the following 30 days (the documented phone conversation during days 30-60) so support begins the 1st of the month following the date of the hearing.

 

EXAMPLE 5:  The child is placed into custody on November 1st and the juvenile court hearing is held November 1st.  The parent(s) does not contact ORS within the first 30 days.

NAA:  The pre-order agent generates the NAA on November 30th and includes all placement timeframes since the parent did not contact ORS.  The NAA certified mail is returned claimed on December 24th.

Order:  On January 15th, the parent comes into the ORS office to sign a stipulation stating the parent’s support obligation began November 1st.  The child support arrears will begin November 1st since the respondent(s) did not contact ORS within the first 30 days from the hearing date but ORS took reasonable steps to contact the parent within the following 30 days.