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Child Support

Eagan Child Support Attorney 

Helping MN Parents Calculate, Modify & Enforce Child Support

Our family law attorneys at Kennedy & Ruhsam Law Offices, P.A. understand that determining an effective child support plan can be challenging. Whether you are a parent seeking child support or paying this monetary amount, we will ensure your best interests are always represented.

Our experienced Eagan child support lawyer will help you secure the support your child needs and deserves! Call (651) 369-7749 to speak with our family law attorneys.

Our Eagan County child support lawyer can help parents:

  • Understand and utilize support guidelines;
  • Negotiate child support payments through advocacy and litigation;
  • Enforce ignored child support orders;
  • Modify an existing child support payment plan;
  • Locate the other parent to establish paternity; and/or
  • Review and adjust the support amount.

In certain circumstances child support litigation may be necessary to ensure your child receives fair financial support from both parents. Our child support lawyers methodically prepare for courtroom litigation to obtain an equitable support arrangement that will benefit your child.

Minnesota Child Support Guidelines

Minnesota has a strict and complex support calculation system. While parents can create a child support agreement without the input of the court, it must follow the guidelines. These instructions are in place to help the child receive the same amount of financial help from each parent as they would if the parents shared a home.

Factors considered when calculating child support include:

  • Both parents’ income
  • Number of children to support
  • Availability and cost of medical insurance
  • Childcare expenses
  • Education expenses
  • Food, shelter, and clothing expenses
  • The amount of court-ordered custody of the child each parent has

Additionally, the amount of time the child spends with each parent overnight at their home may be considered when calculating child support. If parents created a child support arrangement before August 1, 2019, either party can seek a modification to the arrangement that includes overnight time. Our child support attorney can help you effectively seek this modification from the court.

How is Child Support Calculated in Minnesota?

It is presumed that both parents work to earn a stable income. For this reason, the child support calculator includes the potential income of either parent.

This means that if either parent is unable or unwilling to provide details about their income, then the court will create a child support arrangement based on available evidence. For example, the court may use past work experience or a testimony from the other parent to create a potential income amount that can be used to calculate support.

What Are the Legal Consequences for Failing to Pay Child Support in MN?

Once a judge rules that a specific child support payment amount is sufficient for the situation, the agreement becomes legally binding. This means that both parties must follow the support guidelines and failure to do so could result in legal consequences.

These consequences for not paying child support include:

  • Wage garnishment: This action takes a certain amount of money out of the paying party’s paycheck each pay period.
  • Property liens: This lien can only be placed on real property owned in the county the support arrangement was created.
  • Driver’s license suspension: This action can only occur when the paying party is behind in support payments equal to 3 times the monthly support amount.
  • Recreational license suspension: This action can only occur if the paying party is behind on payments equal to 6 times the monthly support amount.
  • Passport denial: if the paying party owes more than $2,500 then the state could place a hold on the paying parent’s passport applications. This action prevents them from receiving or renewing their passport until the payment of the support amount.

If the paying party lives in another state and is refusing to pay the support amount, Minnesota can seek assistance from the state in which they reside to collect child support.

What Happens if the Paying Parent Child Support Loses Their Job or Has a Decrease in Income?

Losing a job or experiencing a significant decrease in income can throw any parent into a state of financial uncertainty. For those who are obligated to pay child support, these circumstances can amplify stress and raise questions about their ability to fulfill their obligations. However, it's crucial to understand that changes in financial circumstances don't automatically alter child support orders. Instead, they require legal action to modify the existing agreement.

When a parent paying child support experiences job loss or a decrease in income, they should take proactive steps to address the situation. The first and most important step is to inform the court of the change in circumstances. Waiting to address the issue can lead to arrears piling up, which can result in legal consequences.

Courts understand that financial situations can change unexpectedly, and they are generally willing to modify child support orders to reflect these changes. However, it's essential to provide evidence of the change in circumstances. This may include documentation of job loss, pay stubs showing reduced income, or any other relevant financial records.

It's important to note that child support modifications are not retroactive. This means that any changes to the child support order will only apply from the date the modification is requested, not from the date the financial change occurred. Therefore, it's crucial to act swiftly to avoid falling behind on payments.

Parents facing financial hardship should also explore alternative arrangements with the other parent. In some cases, both parents may be able to reach a mutually beneficial agreement outside of court, such as temporarily reducing payments until the paying parent's financial situation stabilizes.

How Long Do You Pay Child Support in MN?

The law states that the non-custodial parent must pay child support until the age 18. However, there are some exceptions to this rule which include:

  • If the child has become emancipated - meaning they have gotten married or joined the military
  • If the child is still in high school, the age limit increases to 20

Helping Parents Create a Sound Support Arrangement

At Martha Sullivan, Attorney at Law, our family lawyer is invested in helping you create a support agreement that would be in your child’s best interests. We are well-versed in the Minnesota state support guidelines and can help you efficiently navigate through this process. When you need an experienced child support attorney, contact Martha Sullivan, Attorney at Law.

For your appointment, contact our firm online or call us at (651) 369-7749 today to speak with a child support lawyer near you.

The Kennedy & Ruhsam Philosophy

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