Can I have my child support payments lowered?

If you are the noncustodial parent of your child in Utah, it is likely that you are providing for your child financially according to the terms of a legally binding child support agreement. And while you are obligated to comply with that plan, you may have the option of having your child support payments modified under certain circumstances. Here are a few factors that can be helpful when considering whether and how to seek changes to your child support plan.

The state of Utah determines child support payments using a set formula that takes several factors into consideration. The Office of Recovery Services operates within the state’s Department of Human Services, and explains that the noncustodial parent’s income, as well as that of the custodial parent, is included in the child support equation. Other factors, such as the number of children in the family, also influence the amount of child support owed by the noncustodial parent. As a result, the current terms of your agreement may apply unless or until your financial situation changes in some significant way.

Experiencing temporary or minor changes to your personal income might not necessarily warrant modifications to your child support agreement, but incurring something like a permanent pay cut or job loss can make your agreement eligible for reconsideration. The ORS adds that child support payments can be adjusted to account for other qualifying forms of support, such as cash or mortgage payments. Alternative forms of child support must typically be preapproved by the family court system, however.

Before beginning the process of having your child support payments altered in any way, it’s important to note that some restrictions apply. For instance, the court may deny your request for a child support modification if the proposed change is too minor. You can also face difficulties in being granted modifications if your agreement was established less than three years ago.  Given that Utah state family law guidelines can change and be implemented differently in specific instances, the general information provided above may not apply exactly to your case.

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