Child Support Modification Lawyers in Salt Lake County
Adjust Your Child Support Award or Obligation
Child support orders can be later modified if circumstances have changed. A Utah judge may modify the existing order to bring the amount of child support in line with changes in the situation.
For example, if one parent’s income has significantly increased or decreased, the court may find it appropriate to adjust the amount of child support. You may have multiple reasons why you need to seek a modification to increase or decrease the child support amount.
Our experienced Salt Lake County child support modification lawyers at Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC in Draper can guide you through the process of legally pursuing a modification and ensure that your rights are fully protected throughout the process.
Reasons to Modify Child Support
To successfully modify a child support order, you need to prove to a judge that a substantial change of circumstances has occurred since the time that the original order was issued. The change may be either temporary or permanent.
The court may grant a child support modification if:
- There has been a significant increase in the income of the parent who pays the child support (normally 10% or more).
- There has been a significant decrease in the income of the parent who receives the child support (normally 10% or more).
- The parent receiving child support involuntarily loses his or her job.
- The needs of the child have increased significantly, resulting in increased educational, medical, or other expenses.
- One of the two parents is experiencing hardship due to disability, illness, or temporary financial problem.
- An increase in the cost of living is impacting one parent’s financial condition.
- One of the parents has remarried.
How to Modify Child Support
One of two approaches can be used to request a modification of child support from the Utah court. You can either file a Motion to Modify Child Support or file a Petition to Modify Child Support. There are limited circumstances under which the Utah court permits filing a Motion for the modification. Therefore, in the majority of cases, you’ll need to file a Petition.
To succeed with a motion for modification of child support:
- The child support order must have been issued at least three years ago.
- There must be a difference of at least 10% between the requested amount and the amount originally ordered.
- The change in the amount of the modified support must not be temporary.
- The proposed modified amount must be consistent with Utah state guidelines.
- The current order—including the Decree of Divorce, Decree of Paternity, and Decree of Child Support and Parent Time—must not have already been modified within the past three years.
When Can Child Support Be Modified Utah?
According to Utah Code Section 78B-12-219, a child support order can be modified by a petition any time as long as:
- The child is at least 18 years old or independent
- There is a change in availability, coverage, or the possibility of the cost of health care insurance.
See the Utah Code Section 78B-12-2109 for additional information.
If all the conditions required to succeed with a motion for modification of child support are not met, then the appropriate alternative is to file a petition for modification of child support.
A petition for modification can also be used to modify an existing child support order that was entered within the past three years if there has been a sufficient change to any one of the following conditions:
- Custody of the child
- One of the parent’s assets or wealth in relation to the other parent
- A change of 30% or more in one of the parent’s income
- One of the parent’s employment
- One of the parents’ earning potential
- The medical needs of the child
- One of the parent’s legal responsibilities for the financial support of other people
- Childcare expenses due to work or education
- The child’s emancipation
With either approach – motion or petition – you are required to serve the other parent with the appropriate documentation and to do so by the means authorized per the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure (URCP).
Calculation of Child Support
An established formula is used to calculate child support. A Child Support Worksheet and interactive child support calculator is available to help users determine child support amounts. Calculations vary depending upon custody arrangements. Using the correct forms and entering all of the correct factors.
What to Do If Your Child Support Order Is from Another State
The Utah court must have jurisdiction in order to legally modify a child support order. If the existing order was entered by a court outside the state of Utah, or if the parents or child live outside the state, be sure you confirm which court has jurisdiction in your case.
Consult with Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC Today
We understand how difficult it can be for our clients navigating tough family matters and child support issues. We also know how important it is for our clients to have the benefit of a professional legal team ensuring that their rights are protected every step of the way. Our child support modification attorneys in are here to help in Salt Lake County and Utah County.