You need to know if retroactive child support will apply to your case in Minnesota

Retroactive child support is possible

Litigation is often a lengthy process, even for issues that are relatively simple. This can be a source of frustration for 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.

Fortunately, there is a way to mitigate the impact of months of delay during a child support proceeding. Minnesota Statute 518A.39 provides that the final child support order can be require retroactive child support to the date upon which the moving party served its motion. The law states:

(e) A modification of support or maintenance, including interest that accrued pursuant to section 548.091, 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.

—Minn. Stat. § 518A.39, subd.2(e) (2014)

What it means for you

This means that if you serve and file a motion on May 1 to reduce your child support obligation, and the judge decides on June 10 that you are entitled to a reduction, you are entitled to reimbursement for the additional amount that you paid of your new child support obligation going back to May.

This retroactivity can be especially significant if child support is part of a broader motion that includes litigation of many issues. In the example above, a $100 per month reduction in child support that is granted in December, would be made retroactive to May, meaning that this retroactive child support is worth $700. Thus, it is critical to discuss the timing of a child support motion with this retroactivity provision in mind. An attorney does his client a disservice if he mistakenly neglects to serve his motion for a change to child support until several months after litigation and negotiations have been in process.

What you can do

If you have any questions about retroactive child support or other issues of retroactivity, please call me today at 651-647-0087 or reach out via our online contact form to set up your free consultation.

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