Skip to main content

How to Modify Child Support

Child support is not meant to be static. Just like incomes are expected to increase over time, so too is child support. Conversely, if you are experiencing tough times, you're going to want to reduce child support. This article will help you understand how to modify child support.

How to Start

In order to get child support changed, you will need to request a change from the court. You can do this either through a motion or a petition. Motions are cheaper and faster, but are only available under certain circumstances.

Motion or Petition?

Motions are preferable to petitions because there is no filing fee, you don't need to wait for the opposing side to answer, nor do you need to engage in discovery. The process of a motion can be handled in less than a month. In order to qualify for a motion to modify child support, the following must be true:
  1. At least 3 years have passed since the last order;
  2. There is either a 10% increase or decrease in one parties' income;
  3. The change is not temporary; and
  4. You have used the Utah Child Support Calculator to calculate child support and you are asking for support consistent with that calculator.
Petitions are necessary in all other cases. For instance, if it has been more than 3 years, but you're looking for child support that is not consistent with the guidelines, you need to file a petition. If it has been less than three years since the order of child support and you need a change, you must be able to show there was a material change.

Change Child Support Within 3 Years of the Order

When you need to change child support under 3 years, you need to show the court that there was a material change in circumstances. There are many ways to show this, including a change in custody or a difference of 30% in a parent's income.
Once you have a material change, that material change must result in a difference of 15% of the child support currently ordered.

The Next Steps

After you have identified whether you need a petition or motion, you need to file it with the court. If you've filed a petition, you'll need to serve it on your ex. See this article for more information on service.
You may need to conduct discovery to get the proof you need to show your ex's income has increased. For more guidance, give us a call!


Popular posts from this blog

Thoughts on a Right To Remain Silent

I recently had the opportunity to do a preliminary hearing for a woman who was charged with obstruction of justice. The charge was dismissed with prejudice because the a local city with an infamously incompetent police force improperly charged her. I had several thoughts after this victory, ranging from how great my performance was, to how significant my mistakes were in spite of my victory. I'll go over what I felt I did right and wrong in the hopes that it will benefit some other attorney, or myself, at some point. What Happened A woman was charged with Obstruction of Justice, which is a fairly long statute. The situation was that a police officer came to her home to investigate a crime. Her son had some active warrants, but the police officer didn't know that at the time. The officer had both the son and the woman outside, asking them questions about his investigation. He then asked her for her personal info. Then he asked the son. The son gave the officer incorrect inform…

The Right To Free Speech And Michelle Carter

Michelle Carter The Manslaughterer, or "How I Was Convicted Of A Felony For Saying Words" Recently, a young woman named Michelle Carter was found guilty of manslaughter for texting her boyfriend to carry out his suicide plans. The text messages are difficult to read and are emotionally confusing. In some instances, Ms. Carter is urging him to end his life, while later she claims that she loves him. Some of the final text messages show that Ms. Carter was panicking at the thought of her boyfriend dying and was desperately seeking help.
This is an important case in our history because it is directly affecting our rights to free speech. Ms. Carter's actions are certainly reprehensible. Why encourage someone who is struggling with such things? If you truly love them, why encourage suicide? I'm not here to talk about whether what she said was morally reprehensible. Were Ms. Carter's text messages protected speech?
Protected Speech?
I’m concerned with the recent devel…

UCCJEA - What You Need To Know About Jurisdiction

The UCCJEA is a complicated set of Utah Statutes that govern divorce and custody matters that cross state-lines. At this point, every state in the union has adopted this set of rules in some form. The first question that gets asked in such a case is whether Utah has jurisdiction to hear the case. Let's go over the most important things: Where Does The Child Live? In Utah, there are three ways to get initial jurisdiction. The easiest way to determine whether Utah has jurisdiction over the child is to see where the child lives. In order to proceed in Utah (except under some limited cases we will cover later), Utah must be the home state of the child. To get a home state designation, the child needs to have lived in Utah for at least 6 months. Taking a vacation out of state during that 6 months does not count against the total. If the above does not apply, you'll need to make sure that another State does not have jurisdiction (such as where the child hasn't lived anywhere lo…