REVIEW AND ADJUSTMENT of a SUPPORT order

CS 450P-2 Procedures for 3 Year Review

10/90 Revised 08/29/14 Training Completed 07/28/12

45 CFR 303.8; UCA 62A-11-304.4, 306.2, 320.5 and 320.6, 78B-12-202, 111, 210 and 112; R527-231 and 255

 

The overall steps for CSS cases and CIC cases coded for review and adjustment are similar.  Any specific procedural differences discussed in this section will refer to “CSS case coded” or “CIC case coded.”  Every letter used in the review and adjustment process on a CSS case has a parallel letter to be used on a CIC case; however, the automation may not be the same.  Those differences are noted below where they are known.

 

Statutory Authority

 

UCA 62A-11-320.5.   Review and adjustment of child support order in three-year cycle -- Substantial change in circumstances not required, states:
     “(1) If a child support order has not been issued, modified, or reviewed within the previous three years, the office shall review a child support order, taking into account the best interests of the child involved, if:
     (a) requested by a parent or legal guardian involved in a case receiving IV-D services; or
     (b) there has been an assignment under Section 35A-3-108 and the office determines that a review is appropriate.
     (2) If the office conducts a review under Subsection (1), the office shall determine if there is a difference of 10% or more between the amount ordered and the amount that would be required under the child support guidelines. If there is such a difference and the difference is not of a temporary nature, the office shall:
     (a) with respect to a child support order issued or modified by the office, adjust the amount to that which is provided for in the guidelines; or
     (b) with respect to a child support order issued or modified by a court, file a petition with the court to adjust the amount to that which is provided for in the guidelines.
     (3) The office may use automated methods to:
     (a) collect information and conduct reviews under Subsection (2); and
     (b) identify child support orders in which there is a difference of 10% or more between the amount of child support ordered and the amount that would be required under the child support guidelines for review under Subsection (1)(b).
     (4) (a) A parent or legal guardian who requests a review under Subsection (1)(a) shall provide notice of the request to the other parent within five days and in accordance with Section
62A
-11-304.4.
     (b) If the office conducts a review under Subsections (1)(b) and (3)(b), the office shall provide notice to the parties of:
     (i) a proposed adjustment under Subsection (2)(a); or
     (ii) a proposed petition to be filed in court under Subsection (2)(b).
     (5) (a) Within 30 days of notice being sent under Subsection (4)(a), a parent or legal guardian may respond to a request for review filed with the office.
     (b) Within 30 days of notice being sent under Subsection (4)(b), a parent or legal guardian may contest a proposed adjustment or petition by requesting a review under Subsection (1)(a) and providing documentation that refutes the adjustment or petition.
     (6) A showing of a substantial change in circumstances is not necessary for an adjustment under this section.”

If it has been 3 years or more since the order was issued or modified, and a written request for review is received or the case is identified on the “3 Yr Review” QMF report as qualifying for the mandatory review, the payor’s ordered amount only needs to change by 10% to qualify for a potential modification. To determine when the 3 year time period begins, review the order to see if there is language mentioning an effective date.  If there is no language regarding the effective date use the date the order is signed.  A substantial change in circumstances is NOT required.  Refer to the section below for procedures on how to conduct a 3 year review.

 

In judicial orders, previous court rulings, findings, and stipulated facts must be considered in conjunction with the present facts and law.  If it has been more than three years since the last review and the facts have not changed, consult with the AGO before notifying the parties of the results of the review and before making the referral to the AGO. 

 

Procedures for 3 Year Review - Substantial Change in Circumstances Not Required

 

You have 180 days total to complete the review and adjustment.  Follow the steps below to complete the review.

 

1.                  If you are aware that a parent’s income has decreased, or if either parent alleges that either parent’s income has decreased, send the “Affidavit of Decreased Income”and “Cover Letter to Affidavit of Deceased Income” to the parent(s) whose income(s) may have decreased to obtain more detailed information.

 

NOTE:  It is not necessary to obtain the affidavit if you have verified that the decrease in income is due to a determination made by the Social Security Administration or Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.

 

2.                  If the non-requesting parent (when applicable)has failed to return the required documents when the alert is received, attempt to obtain the best available information regarding the non-requesting parent’s income.  If the requesting party fails to return the Affidavit of Decreased Income (if required), consider this a passive request to terminate the review. 

 

NOTE:  If “UTAH” is the requestor, and one or both parents have failed to return the required documents, attempt to obtain the best available information regarding the parents’ income and continue with the review.

 

3.                  Complete the “Income Worksheet” and the appropriate Child Support Worksheet(s).  Attach a “Worksheet Income Verification Affidavit” to the Worksheet indicating the reason and the method for determining the income for both parents. 

In judicial orders, previous court rulings, findings, and stipulated facts must be considered in conjunction with the present facts and law.  If it has been more than three years since the last review and the facts have not changed, consult with the AGO before notifying the parties of the results of the review and before making the referral to the AGO.

EXAMPLE OF FACTS TO CONSIDER:
The Father on a case is disabled and unemployed, however, he stipulates to an income.  Five years later, he requests a review because he is still disabled and unemployed.  Consult with the AGO before determining what income to use.  All available information regarding the circumstances must be considered when determining what income to use for the father.  Income used would be based on these facts and other facts related to this specific case.

 

4.                  Calculate the difference between the existing award and the new amount for both parents.  In order to pursue a modification, the child support amount for the payor must change, lower or higher, at least 10% and cannot be temporary in nature.  Document your calculations on the “Review and Adjustment Worksheet.”

A temporary change in circumstances is defined in R527-255 as follows:

“1. If the change in circumstances is projected to be temporary, defined as less than 12 months in duration, the office shall not initiate proceedings to adjust the award.

“2. If the change in circumstances is projected to be long term or permanent, defined as 12 months or more in duration, the office shall initiate proceedings to adjust the award pursuant to Sections 78B-12-217 and 78B-12- 218.

EXAMPLE #1:  If the existing award is $150 and the new award is $200, subtract $150 from $200 to obtain $50.  Divide $50 by $150 to obtain 33%.  Since the difference between the existing award and the new award is greater than 10%, an upward adjustment to the existing award is indicated.

EXAMPLE #2:  If the existing award is $200 and the new award is $150, subtract $200 from $150 to obtain -$50.  Divide $50 by $200 to obtain 25%.  Since the difference between the existing award and new award is at least 10%, a downward adjustment to the existing award is indicated.

 

5.                  Document the results of the review on ORSIS.