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Modifications of Support, Custody & Alimony

Midvale, UT Divorce & Family Lawyers

Judge modifying court orderCircumstances change, and a custody, support, or other divorce decree may need to be changed to reflect this. In Utah, this is done by filing a motion or petition to modify the decree. Modifications can be complex, but the right attorney can guide you through to ensure your interests are protected.

If you need guidance related to a modification, our Midvale family law attorneys are standing by to help. A verbal or even written agreement to alter support, visitation, or custody may not be legally binding and can present serious problems in the future. You must go through the proper channels to modify the decree. Since 1979, Haskins James has served clients across the greater Salt Lake area in a wide range of legal matters, including all family law issues.

We can help with modifications of:

Call (801) 850-0155 to find out how we can help you. Your initial consultation is free and private.

Modifying Child Custody & Parent-Time (Visitation)

Either parent may file a petition with the appropriate court (the court that issued the decree) to modify a custody or parent-time order. If parents can agree upon this modification without the involvement of the court, they may change the existing order by filing the petition and other required forms, and a stipulation to enter judgment. If the modification is disputed, however, the court will rule upon the matter.

In modifying custody or parent-time orders, the court will consider:

  • Whether there has been a “material and substantial” change since the decree was entered; and
  • Whether modifying custody or parent-time would be “an improvement for” and “in the best interests” of the child.

Parental relocation, remarriage, or a change of schools may be considered material and substantial changes that would warrant a change in an existing child custody or parent-time decree, but both parents will have an opportunity to present evidence for or against the modification.

Modifying Child Support

In Utah, there are specific circumstances that may allow for the modification of child support. This can be accomplished by filing a motion or a petition.

You can file a motion to modify child support if:

  • It has been at least three years since the child support order was entered;
  • There is a difference of at least 10% between the current order and the new support amount that would currently be required under child support guidelines; and
  • The new proposed child support amount is consistent with child support guidelines.

You can file a petition to modify child support if:

  • It has been at least three years since the child support order was entered;
  • There is a difference of at least 10% between the current order and the new support amount that would currently be required under child support guidelines; and
  • The new proposed child support amount is not consistent with child support guidelines.

If it has been less than three years since the original support order was entered, you may be able to file a petition to modify child support if there is a “material change” in:

  • Custody;
  • The wealth/assets of the parties;
  • The income of a parent (at least a 30% change);
  • The employment or earning capacity of a parent;
  • The child’s medical needs;
  • The cost or availability of healthcare coverage;
  • A parent’s legal responsibility to support others; and/or
  • Childcare expenses.

Modifying Alimony

Alimony can also be modified if there is a substantial and material change in circumstances that was not foreseeable at the time of the divorce. The court cannot modify alimony, however, if the recipient is requesting a change based off needs that did not exist at the time that the order was initially entered. The paying spouse or the receiving spouse may file a petition to modify alimony.

Modification Attorneys Serving Midvale & Salt Lake County

If you want to petition for or contest a change in custody, alimony, parent-time, or support, you need to be certain that your interests will be fully protected. That is where our Midvale modification lawyers can make a significant difference. These are complicated proceedings. You must present evidence that supports your side, and we have the resources and experience to help. We can work closely with you to make sure your goals are identified and pursued.

Contact Haskins James today at (801) 850-0155 to discuss your modification case. We serve Sandy, West Valley City, West Jordan, South Jordan, Midvale, and the greater Salt Lake Area.

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