When child support needs to be changed
Utah child support laws recognize that both parents have an obligation to provide monetary support for their children. The amount depends on several factors, including the incomes of both parents, the relative custody time of each parent and the needs of the child. These situations change over time, requiring the parties to appropriately modify any existing support order. But there are strict procedures for obtaining a modification to child support. Moreover, filing for a modification too early may limit your right to seek one in the future. A compassionate and experienced Salt Lake City child support modification attorney from Intermountain Legal can help you take stock of your situation, determine the best course of action and navigate the complex procedures involved.
When and how to modify a child support order in Utah
Utah courts usually set child support obligations according to established child support guidelines. While a Salt Lake City divorce lawyer can argue for a departure under some circumstances, these guidelines are presumed to be controlling during initial support proceedings as well as modifications. A court will usually permit a modification only if the existing award has moved well outside of the guidelines — at least a 10 percent disparity. Moreover, it is much easier to modify an award that has been in place for three years or more. Modifying a more recent award requires a much greater change in circumstances. For this reason, requesting modification too early can lock a parent into a support framework that falls outside of the guidelines. Therefore, the first job of a child support modification lawyer in Salt Lake City is to determine the most advantageous time to seek a modification.
There are different procedures through which a parent can seek a modification, and the correct procedure depends on the surrounding circumstances. When bringing an older award into compliance with the current guidelines, a Salt Lake City child support modification lawyer may file a motion with the appropriate court. But when seeking to modify a more recent award or requesting support amounts that fall outside of the guidelines, a more complex petition procedure becomes necessary. Using the wrong procedure can seriously delay processing and adjudication, forcing the petitioning parent to go without crucial additional support in the meantime.
Call the firm for a free consultation about modifying child support
If you are struggling to make ends meet within your current child support framework, seeking modification may be in your best interest. But filing too early or using the wrong procedure can seriously affect your rights. Our knowledgeable team at Intermountain Legal can help you avoid these problems and provide support and guidance throughout the process. Call our office today at 801-990-4200 or contact us online to schedule a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your family law matter.
Intermountain Legal is located in Salt Lake City, UT and serves clients throughout all of Northern and Central Utah including Salt Lake City, Midvale, Sandy, West Jordan, North Salt Lake, Bountiful, South Jordan, Clearfield, Woods Cross, Draper, Farmington, Centerville, Layton, Ogden, Lehi, Provo, Orem, Park City and Davis, Salt Lake, Weber, Utah, Tooele and Summit counties.