Sometimes, a financial situation will change for a parent. With our shifting economy, many jobs are lost and new jobs are gained. When a new financial situation happens for a parent, child support may need to modified or changed. There are a couple of things to know about changing child support. At Melanie Cook Law, we can help you understand the process and advise you on the next steps for change.
There are two approaches to changing child support. One approach is to file a “Motion to Modify Child Support.” The second approach is to file a “Petition to Modify Child Support.”
Motion to Modify Child Support
To file a Motion to Modify Child Support, all of the following conditions must be present in your current situation:
- Your current order (Decree of Divorce, Decree of Paternity, Decree of Child Support and Parent Time) has not been modified within the last three years; and
- There is a difference of 10% or more between the child support amount in the current order and the proposed new child support amount; and
- The difference in the income of the parties is not a temporary situation; and
- The proposed new child support amount is consistent with the Utah Child Support Guidelines.
Petition to Modify Child Support
If any of the above-listed conditions are not met in the Motion to Modify Child Support section, you will need to file a Petition to Modify Child Support.
Other Things to Consider When Changing Child Support
There are other things to think about when you are considering changing child support:
- Once you have completed your Motion to Modify Child Support (or Petition to Modify Child Support); you will need to serve the other parent your documentation.
- There are other documents that are necessary in a child support modification action. You will need the Non-Public Information Forms, an Affidavit about Child Support, an Insurance Premium Worksheet, a Child Care Adjustment Worksheet, a Notice of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure 26.1 Requirements, a Financial Declaration, and a Proposed Child Support Worksheets).
To modify child support, the paperwork and filings are similar to the original court action. At times, the parties can agree to the change in child support and file a Stipulation on child support modification. Other times, the parents do not agree to changing child support, and litigation is necessary. The litigation route does require time and expense. Also, litigation opens up the complete financial situation of both parties.
The process is not always simple to navigate on your own. Please call Melanie Cook, a Bountiful child support lawyer who can help you change a current child support order, if your situation has changed.