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The Utah Judiciary is committed to the open, fair, and efficient administration of justice under the law. Find important information on what to do about your case and where to find help on our Alerts and Information Page due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

El poder judicial de Utah está comprometido a la administración de justicia de una manera abierta, justa y eficiente bajo la ley. En nuestra página Información y alertas encontrará información importante sobre qué hacer en cuanto a su caso y dónde encontrar ayuda debido al impacto del brote de COVID-19.

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Finding Legal Help

You are not required to hire an attorney, but legal matters can be complicated. Consider talking to an attorney to go over your options. See the Finding Legal Help page for information about free and low cost ways to get legal help. 

Como encontrar ayuda legal

Usted no está obligado a contratar un abogado, pero los asuntos legales pueden ser complicados. Considere la posibilidad de hablar con un abogado para hablar de sus opciones. Para información sobre cómo obtener ayuda legal vea nuestra página Como encontrar ayuda legal.

Modifying Child Support

Introduction

This page includes information and forms for modifying child support in an existing divorce, custody or parentage order. If your order is from another state or the child or parents live outside of Utah, see the Out of State Issues section below.

The forms on this page are only about modifying child support. You might need to modify other aspects of your final order. If you need to:

When You Can Ask to Change Child Support

You can only change the amount of child support if the difference in the currently ordered child support amount and the proposed child support amount is at least 10%. You can use the child support calculator to help you determine the new amount.

The change cannot be temporary. Temporary means that the change is expected to last less than one year.

Motion or Petition?

Attention!   Be sure to use the correct forms. Read this section carefully!

There are two ways to ask the court to change child support – a Motion to Adjust and a Petition to Modify. A motion is simpler and usually faster, but can only be used in limited circumstances. Usually, you must file a petition. The documents and procedures are different. Be sure to use the correct forms in the Forms section below.

Motion to Adjust Child Support

A child support order can be adjusted by motion if it has been three or more years since the order was entered and:

  • there is a difference of 10% or more between the support amount as ordered and the support amount as required under the guidelines; and
  • the difference is not temporary; and
  • the proposed child support amount is consistent with the guidelines.

See Utah Code Section 78B-12-210(8). If any of these things is missing from your case, you must file a Petition to Modify Child Support.

Petition to Modify Child Support

A child support order can be modified by petition, but there are limitations. The requirements depend on whether it has been at least three years since the order was entered.

If it has been three or more years since the order was entered:

  • there must be a difference of 10% or more between the support amount currently ordered and the proposed support amount as required under the guidelines.
  • the proposed child support amount does not have to be consistent with the guidelines in order to file the petition.

The change cannot be temporary.

See Utah Code Section 78B-12-210(8).

If it has been less than three years since the order was entered, there must be at least a 15% difference between the support amount currently ordered and the proposed support amount required under the guidelines. You must also show that there has been a material change:

  • in custody; or
  • in the relative wealth or assets of the parties; or
  • of 30% or more in the income of a parent; or
  • in the employment potential and ability of a parent to earn; or
  • in the medical needs of the child; or
  • in the legal responsibilities of a parent for the support of others; or
  • in the availability or cost of health care coverage; or
  • in work-related or education-related child care expenses of the payor or the payee of child support; or
  • due to the emancipation of a child.

The change cannot be temporary.

See Utah Code Section 78B-12-210(9).

A child support order can also be modified by petition at any time if:

Process for a Petition to Modify

Complete the documents

Either party can request a modification. The party asking for the modification files the forms in the Forms section below.

No matter who is asking for the modification, whoever was the petitioner in the original case is still the petitioner, and whoever was the respondent in the original case is still the respondent.

Domestic Relations Injunction

When a petition to modify is filed, the court will automatically issue an order called a Domestic Relations Injunction. The injunction is a court order requiring parties not to harass one another, change insurance or beneficiary coverage, transfer property or make non-routine travel with the parties' minor children while the case is pending. There are additional prohibitions in the injunction. Be sure to read it carefully.

The injunction is effective for the petitioner when the case is filed. The injunction is effective for the respondent when the petitioner gets a copy to them. See the Domestic Relations Injunction web page for more information.

File the documents

The party asking for the modification must file the documents in the same court that issued the decree. The documents will use the same case number as the decree. For information about how to file documents, see the Filing Procedures web page.

The party asking for the modification must pay a filing fee when they file the papers with the court. If they cannot afford the fees they can ask the judge to waive them. For more information, see the Fees and Fee Waiver web page.

Have the documents served

The party asking for the modification must have the other party served with the petition to modify, summons, and other documents no later than 120 days after the petition is filed. The documents must be served by one of the methods described in Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 4(d). The party asking for the modification must provide proof of service once service has been completed. For more information about service, see the Serving Papers web page.

The other party has 21 days (if they were served in Utah) or 30 days (if they were served outside of Utah) to respond to ("answer") the petition to modify if they disagree with anything stated in the petition. For more information, see the Answering a Complaint or Petition web page.

The other party's options

If the other party…

Then…

If the other party…

Files an answer

Then…

Both parties must provide initial disclosures to each other, including a Financial Declaration. For more information and forms, see the Initial Disclosures web page and the Financial Declarations web page.

The court may order the parties to try to come to an agreement in mediation. Some parties may be required by their existing decree to go through mediation before filing anything with the court. For more information, see the Mediation web page.

If the other party…

Agrees with everything asked for in the petition before it is filed, or the parties come to an agreement after it is filed.

Then…

See the Stipulation section below.

If the other party…

Does not file an answer

Then…

If the other party has been properly served and does not file an answer within the time specified in the Summons, the party asking for the modification may ask for a default judgment. This means the party asking for the modification gets what they have asked for, and the other party won't have a chance to tell their side of the story. For more information and forms, see the Default Judgments web page.

 

Stipulation

A "stipulation" is a written agreement that shows the parties agree about everything requested in the Petition to Modify.

  • The parties can agree on everything in the Petition to Modify before it is filed. In that case, they can file a stipulated petition.

    If you are using the forms provided on this web page:

    • Check the "and Stipulation" box on the first page of the Petition.
    • Both parties must sign the Petition.
      • The party asking for the modification signs on the second-to-last page, and
      • the other party signs the last page, in the "Stipulation" section.
  • The parties might come to an agreement after the Petition is filed because the parties mediated or had some other negotiation.

    If you are using the forms provided on this web page:

    • Fill out a new Petition to Modify. Write "Amended" above "Petition to Modify" on the first page and check the "and Stipulation" box.
    • Both parties must sign the Petition.
      • The party asking for the modification signs on the second-to-last page, and
      • the other party signs the last page, in the "Stipulation" section.

Process for a Motion to Adjust

The process for a motion to adjust child support is simpler than the process for a petition to modify child support. The party requesting the change files the motion and has the other party served. Service is required under URCP 5. See our page that explains service of other papers for more information.

Judges may rule on all motions in all types of cases. However, in Judicial Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4, commissioners are assigned to hear most matters in divorce cases and several other types of family law cases. Motions decided by a judge and motions decided by a commissioner follow different procedures. If you are not sure whether your case is assigned to a judge or commissioner, find out. Call the court, or look at the caption of the complaint or petition. If a commissioner's name has been listed in the caption, the motion likely will be decided by a commissioner.

Motions decided by a judge are governed by URCP 7. Motions decided by a commissioner are governed by URCP 101.

See our Motions page for more information about the difference in procedures and timelines depending on who is deciding the motion

Child Support Guidelines

Utah law establishes Child Support Guidelines to calculate a parent's child support obligation. You can use the Child Support Calculator to calculate child support under the guidelines. Be sure to allow pop-ups in your web browser.

The court can order a different amount if one or both of the parties asks for a different amount and shows good reasons for the amount requested. For more information about child support see Child Support web page.

Failure to Answer

A party who fails to answer or otherwise appear after being served with the petition and summons is in default and will lose. A judgment against a non-appearing party is called a default judgment. For more information and forms, see our webpage on Default Judgments.

Out of State Issues

Jurisdiction

A Utah court must have jurisdiction (power) to modify child support. Utah might not have jurisdiction if:

  • the child or the parents reside in a state other than Utah, or
  • the controlling child support order was entered in a state other than Utah.

Before spending the time and money to modify child support in a Utah court, make sure that Utah has jurisdiction. See the Support Modification Jurisdiction Chart for more information.

Foreign Order

An order from another country or another state is called a "foreign order." A Utah court can modify a child support order from another state if it has jurisdiction. First, the foreign order must be registered and confirmed as a judgment of Utah. See the Registering a Foreign Child Custody or Child Support Order web page for more information and forms.

After a Utah court modifies a foreign order, the party filing the Petition or Motion to Modify must notify the court of the state that entered the order and every court in which the order has been registered.

Forms


Information about filing documents in existing cases by email


Motion to Adjust Child Support


Forms for a Motion Decided by a Judge (Districts 5-8)
Forms to Ask to Adjust Child Support by Motion

Required forms for the moving party

  • Motion or Stipulated Motion to Adjust Child Support - PDF | Word
  • Non-public Information
  • Child Support Worksheets
  • Proof of income
    (2 years of tax returns and most recent pay stub)
  • Request to Submit for Decision - PDF | Word
  • Order on Motion to Adjust Child Support - PDF | Word
  • Notice of Judgment - PDF | Word

Optional forms for the moving party

  • Non-public Information Form - Safeguarded Contact Information - PDF | Word
    (If a person needs to protect their contact information from the other party)
  • Request to Join the Office of Recovery Services (ORS) - PDF | Word
    (Required if ORS is providing services to either party)
  • Declaration of Other Parent's Earnings - PDF | Word
    (To be used by either party to tell the court what they know about how much money the other party earns)
  • Reply Memorandum Supporting Motion - PDF | Word
    (If the other party has disagreed with the motion and presented a new matter in their response, and the moving party wishes to respond)
  • Notice of Hearing - PDF | Word
    (If a hearing is requested)
  • Objection to Form of Order or Judgment - PDF | Word
    (Used to object to the proposed order)
  • Notice of Modification - PDF | Word
    (If the original order is from outside of Utah)
Forms to Oppose a Motion to Adjust Child Support

Required forms for the opposing party

  • Memorandum Opposing Motion - PDF | Word
  • Proof of income
    (2 years of tax returns and most recent pay stub)

Optional forms for the opposing party

  • Non-public Information Form - Safeguarded Contact Information - PDF | Word
    (If a person needs to protect their contact information from the other party)
  • Counter Motion - PDF | Word
    (If the opposing party has new arguments to make not presented in the moving party's motion)
  • Notice of Hearing - PDF | Word
    (If a hearing is requested)
  • Request to Submit for Decision - PDF | Word
    (If the other party has not filed this document)
  • Order on Motion to Adjust Child Support - PDF | Word
    (If the opposing party is directed to complete the order)
  • Objection to Form of Order or Judgment - PDF | Word
    (Used to object to the proposed order or judgment)
Forms for a Motion Decided by a Commissioner (Districts 1-4)
Forms to Ask to Adjust Child Support by Motion

Required forms for the moving party

  • Motion or Stipulated Motion to Adjust Child Support - PDF | Word
  • Notice of Hearing - PDF | Word
  • Non-public Information
  • Child Support Worksheets
  • Proof of income
    (2 years of tax returns and most recent pay stub)
  • Order on Motion to Adjust Child Support - PDF | Word
  • Notice of Judgment - PDF | Word
Optional forms for the moving party
  • Non-public Information Form - Safeguarded Contact Information - PDF | Word
    (If a person needs to protect their contact information from the other party)
  • Affidavit with Exhibit(s) - PDF | Word
    (To be used with exhibits, if any)
  • Exhibit Summary - PDF | Word
    (To be used to describe voluminous exhibits, if any)
  • Request to Join the Office of Recovery Services (ORS) - PDF | Word
    (Required if ORS is providing services to either party)
  • Reply Memorandum Supporting Motion - PDF | Word
    (If the other party has disagreed with the motion and presented a new matter in their response, and the moving party wishes to respond)
  • Objection to Form of Order or Judgment - PDF | Word
    (Used to object to the proposed order or judgment)
  • Notice of Modification - PDF | Word
    (only if the original order is from outside of Utah)
Forms to Oppose a Motion to Modify Child Support
Required forms for the opposing party
  • Memorandum Opposing Motion - PDF | Word
  • Proof of income
    (2 years of tax returns and most recent pay stub)
Optional forms for the opposing party
  • Non-public Information Form - Safeguarded Contact Information - PDF | Word
    (If a person needs to protect their contact information from the other party)
  • Counter Motion - PDF | Word
    (If the opposing party has new arguments to make not presented in the moving party's motion)
  • Affidavit with Exhibit(s) - PDF | Word
    (To be used with exhibits, if any)
  • Exhibit Summary - PDF | Word
    (To be used to describe voluminous exhibits, if any)
  • Order on Motion to Adjust Child Support - PDF | Word
    (If the opposing party is directed to complete the order)
  • Objection to Form of Order or Judgment - PDF | Word
    (Used to object to the proposed order or judgment)

Petition to Modify Child Support

Forms to Petition that Child Support be Modified
Required forms
Optional forms
  • Non-public Information Form - Safeguarded Contact Information - PDF | Word
    (If a person needs to protect their contact information from the other party)
  • Notice of Modification - PDF | Word
    (If the original order is from outside of Utah)
Forms to Oppose a Petition to Modify Child Support
Required forms
Optional forms
  • Non-public Information Form - Safeguarded Contact Information - PDF | Word
    (If a person needs to protect their contact information from the other party)

Asking for Default Judgment

See the Default Judgment web page for information and forms.


Going to Trial

See the Getting Ready for Trial web page for information and forms.

Related Information

The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.


Page Last Modified: 7/10/2020
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