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Changing a child support order in Minnesota

A divorce can bring about a whole host of complications, particularly if children are involved. Who will have the legal custody of the child? What about child support? Can the spouses come to an agreement with a shared parenting plan? These are some of the questions that couples in Minnesota will need to address during the divorce process.

In a typical case, following a divorce the court issues a child support order, which can be modified, depending on any changes in circumstances or adjustments with costs of living. The changes include increases or decreases in income, sudden unemployment and health changes, among others. However, it is very important to remember that the obligation to pay child support does not end when a person's income decreases or ceases. But, if this happens, it is a good idea to contact the child support office immediately when there is a change in circumstance.

The circumstances that trigger a change in child support may also include a decrease or increase in the parent's or child's needs, a parent starting to receive public assistance, a change in the parent's cost of living or additional medical expenses or costs to health care coverage for the child.

If there is a change in any of the above circumstances, the court may order that the current child support order has become unreasonable. The present order becomes unreasonable only when the child's custody has changed, parent's gross income has decreased by 20 percent or the present order is not a fixed dollar amount but a reflection of a percentage of income.

Source: DHS.State.MN.us, "Child Support - Changing Orders," Accessed on Sept. 25, 2014

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