In most Minnesota divorce cases, the judge orders the non-custodial parent to make child support payments to the custodial parent. These payments are calculated off both parents’ gross income, as well as the medical, educational and child care needs of the child. Although these payments are part of the divorce settlement, they are not set in stone. Child support payments can be modified if certain circumstances come up.
According to Minnesota Statutes, there are certain life situations that constitute a modification of child support payments. For example, if the non-custodial parent has a substantial decrease in income or a significant increase in money, they may file a stipulation to modify support or a motion to modify support. Other circumstances may involve a change in the cost of living, an increase or decrease in health care coverage or the ability to receive medical insurance, changes in the educational or medical expenses of the child or incarceration of either parent. The change must be at least 20 percent greater or less each month depending on the current child support obligation.
Once a motion has been submitted, the judge will review the case and determine whether a modification is needed in the situation. A stipulation can be filed if both parents agree to the changes. If one parent does not agree, the modification may be scheduled for a hearing before a Child Support Magistrate. Once all the facts are reviewed, the choice for modification will be made keeping the best interests of the child in mind.