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<font size=3><b><i>New Child Support Laws in Minnesota</b></i>

How Do I Modify Support under the New Law?
Minnesota child support modifications, lawyers, attorneys

The new law does not, by itself, allow parents to modify child support. Modifications are controlled by Minnesota Statutes section 518A.39.   Modifications in 2007 are far more difficult than in subsequent years. A change in daycare or medical expenses only warrants a change in daycare or medical expenses in 2007. The statute states in pertinent part, as follows:

518A.39 MODIFICATION OF ORDERS OR DECREES.

The terms of an order respecting maintenance or support may
be modified upon a showing of one or more of the following, any of which makes the terms unreasonable and unfair:

  1. substantially increased or decreased gross income of an obligor or obligee;
  2. substantially increased or decreased need of an obligor or obligee or the child or children that are the subject of these proceedings;
  3. 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 Statistics;
  5. extraordinary medical expenses of the child not provided for by statutes.
  6. the addition of work-related or education-related child care expenses of the obligee or a substantial increase or decrease in existing work-related or education-related child care expenses; or
  7. upon the emancipation of the child.

It is presumed that there has been a substantial change in circumstances if:

  1. the application of the child support guidelines to the current circumstances of the parties results in a calculated court order that is at least 20 percent and at least $75 per month higher or lower than the current support order or, if the current support order is less
    than $75, it results in a calculated court order that is at least 20 percent per month higher or lower;
  2. the medical support provisions  are not enforceable by the public authority or the obligee;
  3. health coverage ordered is not available to the child for whom the order is established by the parent ordered to provide;
  4. the existing support obligation is in the form of a statement of percentage and not a specific dollar amount; or
  5. the gross income of an obligor or obligee has decreased by at least 20 percent through no fault or choice of the party.

A child support order is not presumptively modifiable solely because an obligor or obligee becomes responsible for the support of an additional nonjoint child, which is born after
an existing order.

A modification of support or maintenance, including interest that accrued may be made retroactive only with respect to any period during which the petitioning party has pending a motion for modification but only from the date of service of notice
of the motion on the responding party and on the public authority if public assistance is being furnished or the county attorney is the attorney of record.

There may be no modification of an existing child support order during the first year following January 1, 2007, except as follows:

  1. there is at least a 20 percent change in the gross income of the obligor;
  2. there is a change in the number of joint children for whom the obligor is legally responsible and actually supporting;
  3. a parent or another caregiver of the child who is supported by the existing support order
    begins to receive public assistance;
  4. there are additional work-related or education-related child care expenses of the obligee or a substantial increase or decrease in existing work-related or education-related child care expenses;
  5. there is a change in the availability of health care coverage, or a substantial increase or decrease in the cost of existing health care coverage;
  6. the child supported by the existing child support order becomes disabled; or
  7.  both parents consent to modification of the existing order.

A modification may be granted only with respect to child care support under paragraph 4.

A modification under clause (5) may be granted only with respect to medical support.

This expires January 1, 2008.

On the first modification under the income shares method of calculation, the modification of basic support may be limited if the amount of the full variance would create hardship for either
the obligor or the obligee.

Unless otherwise agreed in writing or expressly
provided in the order, provisions for the support of a child are not terminated by the death of a parent obligated to support the child. When a parent obligated to pay support dies, the amount
of support may be modified, revoked, or commuted to a lump sum payment, to the extent just and appropriate in the circumstances.


Unless a court order provides otherwise, a child support obligation in a specific amount per child terminates automatically and without any action by the obligor to reduce, modify, or terminate the order upon the emancipation of the child.

A child support obligation for two or more children that is not a support obligation in a specific amount per child continues in the full amount until the emancipation of the last child for
whose benefit the order was made, or until further order of the court.

The obligor may request a modification of the obligor's child support order upon the emancipation of a child if there are still minor children under the order. The child support obligation shall be determined based on the income of the parties at the time the modification is sought.

Child care support must be based on the actual child care
expenses. The court may provide that a decrease in the amount of the child care based on a decrease in the actual child care expenses is effective as of the date the expense is decreased.

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