The Minnesota family courts try to set child support that reflects both the needs of the dependent children in a family and the ability of a noncustodial parent to pay support. Child support obligations can have a profound impact on your financial plans for as long as the order remains in place.
Making payments on time and in full is of the utmost importance for protecting yourself as the parent with a support obligation. Minnesota can take extreme steps to enforce child support orders with overdue amounts or missed payments.
When your personal situation changes, such as when you unexpectedly lose your job, you may find that your previous child support order is no longer realistic given your current circumstances. After job loss or another substantial reduction of your income, you will want to ask the courts for a support modification.
Why modifications are so important
Your child support obligation takes the form of a court order. Failing to meet those obligations can constitute contempt of court and lead to a warrant for your arrest. If you fall behind on child support, enforcement efforts could include anything from reporting missed payments to the credit bureaus to placing a lien against your personal property.
You will likely have an obligation to keep paying the full amount of support even after you lose your job unless you go to the courts and ask them to formally change the order. Until they officially reduce your payments, you will continue accruing back due amounts.
By presenting evidence of your changing financial circumstances, you can potentially reduce your child support obligations and the likelihood of enforcement actions against you. A formal child support modification will reduce your obligations and make it easier to regain financial control when you start working again.