In order to bring an action before the Court to modify an existing child support order, the parent requesting the modification must be able to show that one of the following has occurred:
The parent paying child support, or the parent receiving child support, has had a substantial increase or decrease in his/her income. In order to create a presumption that an increase or decrease in a party’s income is "substantial", you must be able to show that a re-calculation of child support based upon both parties’ current gross monthly incomes results in a monthly child support obligation which is at least 20% greater or less than, and $75 greater or less than, the current child support obligation. It is important to note that a parent’s "income" for child support purposes is that parent’s gross monthly income (the amount you are paid before taxes, insurance, retirement contributions are withheld), rather than his or her net monthly income (otherwise referred to as your "take home pay");
The monthly living expenses of one or both of the parents, or the expenses (including out of pocket medical expenses) for the parties’ joint children, have substantially increased or decreased, and the current child support order is causing a financial hardship for the parent paying or receiving child support. It is important to consider that an increase or decrease in a party’s monthly living expenses will not likely provide the Court with a basis to modify child support, but it is one issue the Court can consider as part of the modification proceeding;
One of the parents begins receiving or stops receiving public assistance (in the form of medical assistance, Minnesota care, childcare assistance, food stamps, or cash grants from the County/State, etc.);
The parent ordered to provide health care coverage for the children is no longer eligible to provide the coverage, or the cost for the children’s health care coverage has substantially increased or decreased since the date of the last medical support Order;
The children’s childcare expenses have substantially increased or decreased since the date of the last childcare support Order;
One of the parties’ joint children has "emancipated", meaning that he or she has turned 18 years old and graduated from high school (often referred to as secondary school), or he/she is still attending high school but has turned 20 years old, whichever occurs first; or
An Order has been issued by the Court that substantially modifies parenting time. Under our current child support guidelines, a parent’s basic child support obligation is based in part upon the amount of parenting time that parent has with the parties’ joint minor child or children. There are three different levels of parenting time: less than 10%, between 10-45%, and more than 45.1%. If an Order is issued which modifies the parenting time schedule such that the percentage of parenting time awarded to a party changes from one level to another, then that would create a substantial change in circumstances which may warrant a modification of child support so long as the re-calculation of child support results in a new basic child support obligation which is at least 20% greater or less than, or $75 greater or less than, the prior basic child support obligation.
The non-custodial parent is responsible for paying child support. In Minnesota the amount of child support is based on the non-custodial parent's income and the number of dependent children. A court may adjust the support amount at its discretion. Factors examined for adjustment include: (1) the custodial parent's income and assets, (2) any extraordinary financial needs the child may have, such as medical or educational expenses, (3) the child's standard of living during the parents' marriage and (4) whether the paying parent receives public assistance.
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