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Minnesota Cost of Living Adjustments, COLA, forms, instructions for child support and maintenance

Cost of Living Adjustments to Support and Maintenance
COLA, Cost of Living Adjustment, Child Support, Maintenance

Minnesota law allows for an increase in child support and maintenance obligations every two years based on a Cost of Living Adjustment or COLA. This refers to the percentage by which the Cost of Living Increases each year. It is presumed that an obligor's income keeps pace with that Cost of Living increase.

The statute for a Cost of Living Adjustment is Minnesota Statutes Sec 518A.75 which states in pertinent part, as follows:

An order establishing, modifying, or enforcing maintenance
or child support shall provide for a biennial adjustment in the amount to be paid based on a change in the cost of living. An order that provides for a cost-of-living adjustment shall specify
the cost-of-living index to be applied and the date on which the cost-of-living adjustment shall become effective.

The court may waive a cost-of-living adjustment in a maintenance order if the parties so agree in writing.

For an COLA increase in Minnesota, the court may use the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers, Minneapolis-St. Paul (CPI-U), the Consumer Price Index for wage earners and clerical, Minneapolis-St. Paul (CPI-W), or another cost-of-living index published by the Department of Labor which it specifically finds is more appropriate. Cost-of-living increases under this section shall be compounded. The court may also increase the amount by more than the cost-of-living adjustment by agreement of the parties or by making further findings.

The adjustment becomes effective on the first of May of the year in which it is made, for cases in which payment is made to the public authority. For cases in which payment is not made to
the public authority, application for an adjustment may be made in any month but no application for an adjustment may be made sooner than two years after the date of the dissolution decree.

To seek a Cost of Living Adjustment, a party must send a
notice of the intended adjustment to the obligor at the obligor's last known address at least 20 days before the effective date of the adjustment. The notice shall inform the obligor of the date
on which the adjustment will become effective and the procedures for contesting the adjustment. To send a COLA notice see forms in right column.

Any person who pays child support or spousal maintenance may contest the COLA increase that is being requested and a court may waive the requirement of the cost-of-living clause if it expressly finds that the obligor's income does not provide for cost-of-living adjustment or that the order for maintenance or child support has a provision such as a step increase that has the effect of a cost-of-living clause. To contests a COLA see forms in right column.

To contest cost-of-living adjustments initiated by the public authority or an obligee who has applied for or is receiving child support and maintenance collection services from the public authority, other than income withholding  only services, the obligor, before the effective date of the adjustment, must:

  1. file a motion contesting the cost-of-living adjustment with the court administrator; and
  2. serve the motion by first-class mail on the public authority and the obligee.
  3. The hearing shall take place in the expedited child support process.

To contest cost-of-living adjustments initiated by an obligee who is not receiving child support and maintenance collection services from the public authority, or for an obligee who receives income withholding only services from the public authority, the obligor must, before the effective date of the adjustment:

  1. file a motion contesting the cost-of-living adjustment with the court administrator; and
  2. serve the motion by first-class mail on the obligee.

The hearing shall take place in district court.

Upon receipt of a motion contesting the cost-of-living adjustment, the cost-of-living adjustment shall be stayed pending further order of the court. If, at the hearing, the obligor does not establish this insufficient increase in income, the adjustment shall take effect as of the date it would have
become effective had no hearing been requested.
 

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FORMS

Cost of Living Adjustment Form

District Court (Judge) Cost Living Adjustment Forms

Expedited Process (Magistrate) Cost of Living Adjustment Forms






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