When circumstances change, child support can also be changed to accommodate those changed circumstances. But the reasons for modification are limited, must be adequately proven, and must be approved by the court with a new child support order issued to replace the original one. That all takes resources, like time and knowledge of this specific area of the law.
At Heritage Law Office, our child support attorney in Minnesota will apply the law strategically, making sure your request for modification of child support is adequately supported to significantly improve the chances that it is subsequently approved. If you are fighting a modification of child support, we are here to listen to your concerns and to advocate strongly for your rights and what's in the best interest of your child. Contact us today through our online form or at 414-253-8500 to schedule a free consultation.
Can Child Support Orders be Modified in Minnesota?
Child support is for the child, and because of that, it is almost always modifiable (with some restrictions depending on the jurisdiction). A modification can be made based on the request of either party, and the support may be increased or decreased depending on the circumstances. Parties may agree among themselves to modify a support order. If they cannot agree, the matter will be heard by a judge who will decide whether or not to modify the order.
Modifications to child support may be temporary or permanent. Temporary orders are typical in cases where an emergency arises. For example, if the custodial parent becomes injured and the non-custodial parent assumes care of the child while they recover, support may be suspended for the period of time the child is with the non-custodial parent.
Factors Considered for Minnesota Child Support Modification
Child support orders are typically modified when there has been a change in circumstances by either party or the child. Courts will consider many different factors when determining if a support order should be modified. Common factors are described below.
When one or more children subject to the order have reached the age of emancipation, the order may be modified to remove them and order support only for those children still under the age of 18.
If any of the parties become disabled, the court may consider modifying the support amount. This includes any special needs the children under the order may develop.
Change in Income
If either of the parties becomes unemployed through no fault of their own, the court may consider the reduction in income as a reason to modify the support order. On the other hand, if either of the parties has an increase in gross income, the court may consider that as well.
When either of the parties has another child, the court may use this information to modify child support.
How are Changes Made to Minnesota Child Support?
Either party may file a motion with the court to have the matter of child support modification heard by a judge. They also have the option of hiring an attorney to help with a modification, or they may seek the services of their local child support office.
The parties may agree to modify the support, but keep in mind that the original order is still in effect until a new order is entered. This means that even if the parties come to an agreement outside of court, that agreement must go through the court system to become enforceable.
Why You Need a Family Law Attorney to Modify Child Support in Minnesota
To modify child support, an already existing court order must be changed. This can be a complicated process for someone unfamiliar with the court system. An experienced family law attorney will know how to have the child support modified and can advise you if the modification you are seeking is feasible.
In cases where both parties mutually agree to the modification, a family law lawyer can make sure the modification is fair given the changed circumstances. Ultimately, it is your choice but you want to keep in mind that it is your child's well-being at stake. Any changes to child support, whether it's increased or decreased, can alter your child's experience and ability to continue to develop strong bonds with both parents.
Contact a Child Support Attorney in Minnesota Today
We understand the importance of child support but we also know that some circumstances demand modifications. Our child support lawyer at Heritage Law Office will guide you through the process so that mistakes are not made and your child continues to benefit regardless of the modification. Schedule a free consultation with our office to discuss your child support options. You can reach us using our online form or by calling us directly at 414-253-8500.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What Constitutes a "Change in Circumstances" for Child Support Modification in Minnesota?
A "change in circumstances" generally refers to significant shifts in the financial, health, or living situations of either parent or the child. Common triggers include job loss, disability, an increase in income, or the birth of another child. Courts consider these changes when determining whether to modify an existing child support order.
2. How Often Can You Request a Modification of Child Support in Minnesota?
There is no set frequency for requesting modifications, but courts usually prefer to avoid frequent changes unless there are substantial reasons. It's essential to demonstrate a significant change in circumstances to make a compelling case for modification.
3. Can Both Parents Agree to Modify Child Support Without Court Approval in Minnesota?
While parents can mutually agree to change the child support amount, it is crucial to understand that this agreement is not legally binding until a court approves it. Without court approval, the original support order remains in effect, which can lead to legal complications.
4. How Long Does the Process Take to Modify Child Support in Minnesota?
The duration for modifying a child support order varies. Factors affecting the timeline include court backlog, the complexity of the case, and whether both parties agree on the modification. Generally, expect the process to take several weeks to a few months.
5. Are Temporary Modifications to Child Support Orders Possible in Minnesota?
Yes, temporary modifications are possible and are generally implemented in emergency situations, such as sudden medical expenses or temporary loss of employment. These are usually set for a specified period and reviewed by the court for either termination or extension.