Hafemeyer Law

Modifying Your Child Support Obligation

Life is constantly changing. You may find a new job, change careers, move, decide to go back to school or encounter large medical expenses. It is these life changes that often lead clients to inquire whether it is possible to modify child support.

Although the changes described above may seem significant, they may or may not be enough to persuade the court to modify a child support obligation. Under Minnesota Statute § 518A.39 a child support modification can be sought by either an obligor or oblige in the following circumstances:

1)    A substantial increase or decrease in the gross income of either the obligor or obligee

2)    a substantial increase or decrease in need of the obligee or obligor, or the child or children, that are the subject of the proceeding

3)    the receipt of assistance under the AFDC program

4)    a change in the cost of living for either party as measured by the Federal Bureau of Labor

5)    Extraordinary medical expenses of the child that are not covered under Minn. Stat. 518A.41

6)    Changes in the availability of appropriate health care coverage or a substantial increase or decrease in health care coverage costs

7)    Addition of work related or education related child care expenses of the obligor or a substantial increase of decrease in existing work related or education related child care expenses; or

8)    Upon the emancipation of the child

The court typically defines a change as substantial if the income of the obligor or obligee, when calculated under the guideline amounts, would result in an increase or decrease of 20% in the current support amount, with a minimum of $75.00 per month. Also, if the income of the obligor is reduced by 20% due to no fault or choice of the party the court may order an increase or decrease in the support obligation.

If you believe that you may have experienced a significant change that will allow for a change in the child support payments that you make or receive, contact my office to discuss your options.

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