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Learning more about modification of child support orders - II

In a previous post, we started discussing what happens when circumstances change for divorced parents, such that the one parent encounters difficulty meeting their obligations or the other parent needs additional financial assistance to help cover the costs of raising the child.

Specifically, we started exploring the issue of child support modification in Minnesota and how payor parents -- those ordered to pay child support -- or payee parents -- those awarded child support -- must often demonstrate that there has been what is known as a substantial change in circumstances

It's important to understand, however, that the court will presume a substantial change in circumstances, and find that an order is both unreasonable and unfair (a rebuttable presumption) under the following circumstances:

  • The current child support order is not in the form of a specific dollar amount, but rather a percentage.
  • The gross income of either the payor parent or the payee parent has fallen by a minimum of 20 percent involuntarily.
  • The original order was a departure from the basic support formula and the factors justifying this departure no longer apply/exist.
  • The parent ordered to provide health coverage for the child is no longer able to do so.
  • The child support office and the payee parent cannot enforce medical provisions of the order.
  • The child support increase or reduction sought is at least 20 percent and at least $75 per month lower or higher than the current child support order; or, in the event the current child support order is less than $75 per month, the child support increase or reduction sought would drive it at least 20 percent lower or higher.  

Those with questions about child support -- enforcement, modification, etc. -- should truly consider speaking with a skilled legal professional to learn more about their rights and their options going forward.

Source: Washington County, Minnesota, "Changing a child support order," Accessed March 30, 2015 

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