Over the past year, the job outlook for many service industry workers has been bleak. Some parents who work in restaurants, bars, or stores may have had their hours cut back or may have been discharged altogether. For this reason, parents paying child support may wonder if they can have their support obligations modified in light of their recent changes in circumstances.
When can a parent request a child support modification?
To modify a child support order in Utah, the difference in the currently ordered child support amount and the proposed child support amount must be at least 10 percent. Additionally, the change in circumstances that prompted the child support modification cannot be temporary. This means the changes must last for at least one year or more.
Ways to modify a child support order
In Utah, a child support order can be modified in one of two ways: a Motion to Adjust or a Petition to Modify.
A Motion to Adjust Child Support can be sought if three years have passed since the current child support order was established. There must also be at least a 10 percent difference between the current child support order and the proposed order. The change in circumstances cannot be temporary, and the proposed order must be consistent with the state’s child support guidelines.
Similarly, a Petition to Modify Child Support can be sought if three years have passed since the current child support order was established, there is at least a 10 percent difference between the current child support order and the proposed order, and the change in circumstances is not temporary. However, unlike a Motion to Adjust, the proposed order does not have to be consistent with the state’s guidelines.
What if it has been less than three years since the current order was established?
If it has been less than three years since the current child support order was established, there must be a 15 percent or greater difference between the current child support order and the proposed order. In addition, there must be a material change in circumstances of the paying parent. For example, if the paying parent experiences a 30 percent or greater loss in income, this may qualify as a material change in circumstances.
Learn more about child support in Utah
This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who would like further information regarding child support modifications are encouraged to visit our firm’s website to learn more about this important topic.