Seeking to modify child support can naturally involve challenges, especially if one isn’t familiar with Minnesota laws. Parties should seek assistance regarding modification, especially if a substantial change in circumstances has occurred. Learn how child support can be modified, how a lawyer can help, and all possible options by reading on. Let’s get started.
Understanding Child Support Circumstances
As each party goes through the divorce process, the judge will decide what should be paid in child support. This will occur in custody cases as well, where the parents of the child are not married.
If the parties share equal parenting time, the party with the lower income will receive child support from the other. If the parties do not share equal parenting time, the party with more time with the children will receive child support from the other.
The amount of child support depends on several factors, such as each spouse’s income, parenting time, the child’s medical insurance, and more. For example, if the parent that pays child support also provides the child’s medical insurance, their child support may be slightly lower than a paying parent who does not provide the medical insurance.
Remember that the child support payments aren’t set in stone, but each spouse must pay the agreed-upon amount. From there, price adjustments can be sought after that are based on a substantial change in circumstances and similar factors.
Talking With a Lawyer to Modify Support
Modifying support is often a complicated process. Once the court determines child custody, the party will need to demonstrate a significant change in circumstances, like financial, legal, or medical status.
A lawyer versed in working on child support cases in Minnesota will understand the nuances of local laws. They will offer valuable guidance on what qualifies as a substantial change in circumstances and understand document requirements. The right documentation can be a deciding factor in a judge accepting the validity of a motion to modify child support.
Remember that Minnesota laws may vary from other states, making it important for a person to work with a local lawyer. Working with a local attorney will help determine best strategies for the situation, such as seeking adjustments based on changes in income or health insurance.
Filing a Motion for Modification
To file for a motion for modification in Minnesota, a party must write a statement saying why the modification is warranted. Either parent can file at any time. Once filed, the court will have a hearing to decide whether or not to approve the modification. If there is no desire to or an individual is unable to go through a court, the same request can typically be filed with the desired county of residence.
Minnesota has required filing fees for those who want to make a change, but the state offers options for those with low income to cover the costs.
While a person can file a modification motion without legal counsel, doing so may fail if they don’t have the proper legal representation. Instead, a lawyer can file the motion for modification, present the proper evidence, and assist you through the entire process.
Circumstances That Impact Child Support
Those planning to obtain a modification in child support must consider what constitutes a substantial change in circumstance. When preparing to file, review Minnesota’s common matters to determine the best approach for modification.
Changes to Child Care
A person can modify their payments if they have changes to work-related child care. For example, if an ex-spouse needs to work more often, child support adjustments may be sought accordingly.
Adjustments to Income
Income changes can lead to child support payments being increased or decreased. For example, if one party receives a significant pay increase, they may need to pay more. An adjustment based on increased or decreased income is not automatic. Be sure to talk to a family law attorney who can analyze the facts of your specific case.
Likewise, a parent should always inform the court about unemployment or loss of money as there are legal risks to withholding information. If a parent is no longer making the income they were at the time of the original settlement, child support payments can be adjusted to an appropriate amount. Generally, child support payments will only be decreased if the loss in income was not caused by the paying parent.
Cost of Living Changes
Child support payments are also influenced by the cost of living, since rising prices measurably increase expenses. In that context, a parent with custody could request additional support for their child. If the cost of living decreases, a parent may ask for lower payments to provide support while also staying financially stable. Doing so can be challenging, so a person who wants to lower their child support should work with a lawyer.
Medical Coverage Adjustments
Whether a parent covers their children’s health insurance can also impact how much they pay. If the parent faces a situation where they must pay for the children’s healthcare or gain coverage from work, that parent may pay less child support. It all depends on the circumstances, so both parties must talk with each other and find the best approach.
Preparing for Modification
Once modifications are identified, consulting with a divorce attorney can help ensure a successful process. An attorney can assist with creating a plan, advise on case strategies, and determine a positive result.
For example, a parent may secure a position that offers medical benefits, so they’ll share the coverage while seeking lower child support payments. Parties can then work through the situation together, come to a fair agreement, and modify the payment accordingly.
See How Child Support Can Be Modified in Minnesota Today
Contacting an experienced legal team like M. Sue Wilson Law Offices will help divorcing couples learn how to modify child support. Gaining this knowledge will help parties review income, identify whether payments can be adjusted, and continue to provide required care to children while considering possible options. Contact M. Sue Wilson Law Offices today to talk to one of our talented attorneys about modifying child support in Minnesota.
This article contains general legal information and does not provide legal advice. For legal advice, please contact M. Sue Wilson Law Offices directly.