When Can Child Support Be Modified

Legal Conditions for Child Support Modification in Minnesota

In Minnesota, child support can be modified under certain legally defined conditions. An existing child support order can be changed if there is a substantial change in circumstances that makes the current order inappropriate or unfair.

Common reasons a parent in Minnesota might seek a child support modification include:

  • A substantial increase or decrease in either parent's income.
  • A significant change in the needs of the child.
  • One of the parents has experienced a significant change in financial circumstances.
  • There has been a significant change in the cost of child care or a change in the cost or accessibility of health coverage for the child.

Conditions Unlikely to Serve as Grounds for Modification in Minnesota

While Minnesota law allows the modification of child support orders under certain conditions, some situations are typically not considered sufficient grounds for a change on their own. For example, having a new child with a different partner does not usually lead to a modification in the existing child support order. Similarly, personal beliefs about the other parent's financial needs or changes in their marital status—such as getting married or divorced—do not usually constitute valid reasons for altering the established child support order.

These situations are generally viewed as unrelated to the financial needs of the child under the existing order and therefore, are unlikely to be deemed as substantial changes in circumstances warranting a modification.

How to Seek Child Support Modification in Minnesota

Parents with full child support services are encouraged to contact their designated county child support worker if there are any changes in their circumstances. The child support worker will guide them through the modification process accordingly.

However, parents who have income-withholding services as part of their child support order will most likely need to petition the court directly to initiate a change. If you are in this position, we encourage you to seek advice from an attorney to ensure all legal procedures are correctly followed.

Review the MN Department of Human Services website for more information on this process, or review this MN DHS FAQ sheet on child support modifications.

Benefits of Working with an Experienced Attorney for Child Support Modification in Minnesota

Choosing to work with an experienced attorney when pursuing child support modification can offer significant advantages. First and foremost, an experienced attorney like ours at Kennedy & Ruhsam Law Offices, P.A., can help you understand the nuances of both the modification process and child support regulations in Minnesota. This information is critical to the accurate preparation and presentation of your case.

An attorney can assist you with numerous tasks, including but not limited to:

  • Understanding and interpreting the child support laws of Minnesota.
  • Preparing, filing, and serving the necessary legal documents.
  • Representing you in court proceedings.
  • Negotiating with the other party on your behalf.
  • Advising on the best strategies to achieve your desired outcome.

Remember, just because your situation has changed doesn't mean your child support obligation stops. If you are struggling to make your child support payments, get in touch with our attorneys at Kennedy & Ruhsam Law Offices, P.A., to discuss your case.