Have circumstances changed since your child support order was issued?
Are you having trouble making payments, or if you receive support, are you having trouble making ends meet under the current arrangement? If there has been a substantial change in you or your ex’s work or living situation, the existing support order may no longer be acceptable.
In many cases, the terms of your order can be modified — read on to find out how.
Document Reasons for the Child Support Order Change
Did you lose your job or suffer a serious, disabling injury? Have the education or medical needs of your child changed? Or has your Ex’s income significantly increased as a result of his or her new marriage?
Whatever your reason for modifying your support order, you must be able to prove it in court. This means documenting the circumstances that make it necessary to change your order.
In the meantime, if you are responsible for making payments, do everything you can to keep them current until a new order is issued by the family law court. Continue paying as much as you can, so that the judge will see that you are making your best effort.
Work With Your Ex to Reach an Agreement on Child Support
Given the financial expenses involved in family law litigation, it may be worthwhile to try to work with your ex to create new, mutually acceptable terms.
If you doubt that your former spouse will agree to a new arrangement, you may want to consider mediation first. This approach is often less costly than taking the matter to the family law court. You may also want to check your decree, as some decrees require an attempt at mediation in the event of modification.
If you and your ex can agree to modified payments, you can jointly request the change.
Modify Child Support through the Courts
If you are unable to negotiate new terms with your former spouse, going back to court is the only option.
After examining evidence of the change in circumstances, the family law judge may make either a temporary or permanent modification to the existing terms.
Whether you can work out the details with your ex or if you have to go back to court, it is important to act quickly.
The longer you wait, the more support payments will go into arrears. The judge cannot retroactively remove your responsibility for those payments, and they can’t even be discharged in bankruptcy.
If you do require a change in your child support order, involving an experienced family law attorney can help you expedite the process. The attorneys of the Burton Law Firm, based in Ogden, Utah, have experience in matters relating to divorce and child custody.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss making a change to your Utah child support order.
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