There are many reasons why you might want to modify a child support order. Perhaps you were laid off from your position and you want to reduce your child support obligation. Conversely, if you are receiving child support and the income of the other party has increased, you may want to increase the child support obligation of that party. Whatever your reasons, in order to modify child support in Minnesota, you will need to show that one of the statutory grounds exist that makes the current child support order unreasonable and unfair. The statutory grounds are:
- Substantially increased or decreased gross income of either party;
- Substantially increased or decreased need of either party or the child or children that are the subject of the Order;
- Receipt of assistance under the AFDC program;
- A change of cost of living for either party as measured by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics;
- Extraordinary medical expenses of the child not provided for under the medical support obligation;
- A change in the availability of appropriate health care coverage or a substantial increase or decrease in health care coverage costs;
- The addition of work-related or education-related child care expenses of the party receiving child support or a substantial increase or decrease in existing work-related or education-related child care expenses; or
- Emancipation of the child.
There is presumption that there has been a substantial change in circumstances and the current child support order will be presumed to be unreasonable and unfair, if the application of the child support guidelines to the current circumstances of the parties results in a child support amount that is at least 20% and at least $75.00 per month higher or lower than the current support order. However, the child support order is not presumptively modifiable simply because the party that pays child support has a child with a new partner, but that party may be able to receive a deduction from their child support if other grounds for modification of child support are alleged.
If you want to modify child support, it is important to file a motion to modify child support with the court as soon as possible. This is because you generally may not modify child support retroactively. There are also serious consequences for failing to pay child support, including driver’s license suspension, occupational license suspension and even jail, in extreme cases.
To speak with an experienced child support modification attorney, contact Tentinger Law Firm at 952-953-3330 or use our quick contact form.