Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Can there be child support modification in Utah?

For Utah couples who are no longer together but share a child, child support is an unavoidable and necessary issue that must be agreed upon. When the support agreement is completed, many parents might be under the impression that it cannot be changed. However, that is not always the case. It is possible for there to be a child support modification if the requirements for doing so are met. Understanding how this works and what the criteria is to make the change is key.

The child support order can be changed through a motion or a petition with the court if it has been a minimum of three years since the order was issued. The following must also be in place. There must be a difference of a minimum of 10 percent between the amount of child support that was ordered and the amount that is required based on the guidelines, the difference is not on a temporary basis and the new amount is consistent with the guidelines.

It is also possible to have child support modification via petition if it is less than three years since the order. This occurs when there is a material change with one of the following: custody of the child, the financial standing in wealth or assets of the parties, a minimum of 30 percent in the parental income, the employment potential and parents' ability to earn, medical requirements of the child, legal responsibilities of the parents when supporting others, whether health care coverage is available and its cost, expenses for work or educational child care of the person paying or receiving child support or the child being emancipated. With a material change, it must be a non-temporary difference of a minimum of 15 percent between what was ordered and the amount the guidelines requires.

Many circumstances can arise after the child support agreement is completed. For those who are believe the monthly payments cannot be changed, it is important to understand that it is possible to make changes if they meet the criteria. Whether the parent is receiving or paying child support, discussing the matter with an attorney experienced in child support modification can help with a case. This not only ensures that your rights are protected bu thte best interests of the child are met as well.

Source:, "Grounds to Modify Child Support," accessed on Feb. 21, 2017

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