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Utah Child Support Modification Lawyer

Child Support Modification in Utah

Dad and Daughter - Utah Child Support Modification - Wall Legal SolutionsIf you’re looking to adjust your child support order, the team at Wall & Wall Attorneys at Law can guide you through the process of requesting a modification. You may have a number of reasons for needing to modify – either increase or decrease – the amount of child support you pay. However, for your request to be successful, you must prove to the court a substantial change in circumstances has occurred to warrant the modification, which can be temporary or permanent depending upon the nature of the changed circumstances.

Common reasons the court acknowledges for modifying child support include:

  • A substantial increase, usually 10 percent or more, in the paying/non-custodial parent’s income;
  • A substantial decrease, also usually 10 percent or more, in the paying parent’s income;
  • The custodial parent involuntarily loses a job;
  • The child’s needs substantially increase leading to extra medical, educational or age-related expenses;
  • Either parent experiences hardship because of illness, disability or another temporary financial burden;
  • Remarriage by either party;
  • Either parent’s legal responsibility to support other the person changes significantly; or
  • The cost of living increases.

To modify a child support order, you may take one of two approaches: Filing a Motion to Modify Child Support or filing a Petition to Modify Child Support.

In Utah, the circumstances that permit you to file a Motion to Modify Child Support are limited. In most cases, you must file a Petition to Modify Child Support. Either way, you need to serve the other parent your documentation by a method that is authorized by Utah Rules of Civil Procedure (URCP) 4.

Motion to Modify Child Support

In order to modify child support via a motion, you must meet certain conditions. These conditions include:

  • The order was entered three or more years ago;
  • The difference between the amount as ordered and the amount as required under the Utah Child Support Guidelines is 10 percent or more;
  • The difference in the modified support amount isn’t temporary; and
  • The proposed amount is consistent with state guidelines.

Additionally, the current order – including the Decree of Paternity, Decree of Divorce, Decree of Child Support and Parent Time – cannot have been modified within the past three years.

Petition to Modify Child Support

If you don’t meet any one of the conditions to make a Motion to Modify Child Support, your other option is to file a Petition to Modify Child Support.

You can modify support by petition if the order was entered three or more years ago and you meet these other conditions:

  • The difference between the amount as ordered and the amount as required under the Utah Child Support Guidelines is 10 percent or more;
  • The difference in need for the modified support amount isn’t temporary; and
  • The proposed amount is not consistent with the guidelines.

For more information, see Utah Code Section 78B-12-210(8).

Your child support order also can be modified using a petition if the order was entered less than three years ago and there has been a material change to one of the following:

  • Custody;
  • A parent’s relative wealth or assets;
  • A parent’s income (a material change is 30 percent or more);
  • A parent’s employment or earning potential;
  • The child’s medical needs;
  • A parent’s legal responsibilities to support other individuals;
  • The cost or availability of healthcare coverage;
  • Work- or education-related child care expenses; or
  • The emancipation of the child.

According to the Utah Code, the change must result in a non-temporary difference of 15 percent more between the original support amount and the amount as required under the guidelines, which will be the proposed amount. For more information, see Utah Code Section 78B-12-210(9).

Other grounds for modifying child support through a petition, regardless of when the order was originally entered, include:

  • The child turns 18 or is emancipated;
  • The coverage, availability or reasonableness of cost of healthcare insurance changes significantly;
  • Work- or education-related child care expenses change significantly; or
  • The award of tax exemption for dependents changes.

Modifying your child support order is not an easy process to navigate by yourself. If your circumstances have changed and you need your order to reflect that, contact Wall & Wall Attorneys at Law to schedule a free initial consultation at 801-441-2388 or online. The firm’s experienced attorneys are available to help you understand how the system works and provide you counsel through each step of the process.