Overview

A motion to modify child support may be brought if one parent’s financial circumstances have changed significantly. If the current order makes it impossible to fulfill your obligations or makes it very difficult, you may be able to get a court order that modifies those obligations while you are enduring financial hardship.

How a determination is made

The court will determine if your income reduction was done voluntarily or involuntarily. The courts will be less sympathetic to your request to modify child support if you have voluntarily reduced your income. Further, if you are voluntarily unemployed, underemployed, or employed less than full-time, child support is calculated based on potential income. Conversely, if you know that the other party’s income has substantially increased, you can bring a motion for an upward modification of child support.

Litigation is often a lengthy process, even for issues that are relatively simple. This can be frustrating for both clients and attorneys, especially while child support proceedings are pending, since every month that passes is a month during which the wrong amount of child support is being paid. If a modification proceeding is delayed, you may be entitled to a reimbursement for the additional amount that you paid while waiting for the judge to issue a decision.

The amount of time spent with the minor child may also affect a child support obligation. Because having a child in your care can have an impact on your monthly budget, the amount of child support that a parent is ordered to pay may be reduced or offset by the amount of time a child is spending in each parent’s care. The law allows a court to use either the number of overnights spent with the parent, or an alternative method to determine the amount of parenting time needed to adjust the child support payment a parent is paying.

If you or your ex-spouse are seeking a modification of child support, it is important to speak with an experienced Minnesota divorce attorney. Determining an award in your favor requires someone who will work closely with you to ensure the strongest possible case is put forward.

At Clausen & Hassan, our lawyers pride themselves on how they serve our clients. Please reach out today for your free consultation—you can call our office at (651) 647-0087 or contact us by email at info@clausen-hassan.com.