Post-judgment Modifications Are Always Possible
Most people feel a great deal of relief after finally reaching the end of the divorce process. If you and your former spouse do not have kids, or if there is no spousal support arrangement, you can usually rest easy knowing that your divorce is truly finalized. But, post-judgment modifications in Salt Lake City are always possible when it comes to child custody arrangements, child support payments, or spousal support payments.
Child Custody Modifications
Child custody arrangements, along with child visitation schedules, can be modified up until the child’s
eighteenth birthday. Under Utah law, if both parents agree to a child custody modification, the courts will give wide deference to that agreement. However, it is possible that the courts could still reject a mutually agreed upon modification.
Generally, that will only occur in extremely limited circumstances, such as when the court determines the modification would put the child’s safety at risk. If both parents do not agree to the proposed child custody modification, then Utah requires two factors to be present before a modification can go forward. First, the court will look to see whether or not a material change in circumstances has occurred.
A common example of this would be one parent moving to another jurisdiction. Once the court finds that a material change in circumstances has occurred, the court will only move forward with a modification if it is found to be in the best interests of the child.
Child Support Modifications
Child support obligations can be modified in Utah in several different circumstances. For example, child support modification is possible if:
- It has been at least three years since the child support judgment was entered:
- There have been at least a 10 percent change in how much impact the child support modification would have on payments; and
- The change in financial circumstances is not temporary.
However, it is also possible to seek a child support modification whenever there has been a material change in a relevant financial circumstance. For example, if work-related income, child health care expenses, or child education-related expenses have changed by at least 15 percent, Utah may allow for a child support modification.
Spousal Support Modifications
Modifying spousal support also requires material and substantial change in circumstances. However, there is also an additional requirement: the change must not have been reasonably foreseeable at the time of the divorce.
For example, if a couple decides to seek a divorce when they are both 62 years old, and then the spouse that owes spousal support retires three years later, it is unlikely that a Utah court would allow a spousal support modification. In that scenario, the retirement was probably highly foreseeable. Therefore, it is likely that is was already accounted for at the time of the divorce and it was already priced into the spousal support arrangement.
Contact An Experienced Salt Lake City Divorce Attorney
Ultimately, modifications are available to help address changing circumstances. If you are seeking a modification, or your former spouse is seeking one, it is important that you speak to an experienced Salt Lake City attorney immediately.
At CoilLaw, LLC, a family law firm in Salt Lake City, our attorneys have extensive experience dealing with all manners of post-judgment modifications. Please do not hesitate to call divorce attorney Jill L. Coil today at (801) 884-3775 to learn more.
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