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Child Support FAQs

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Is everyone who is currently ordered to pay child support entitled to an automatic re-calculation using the new guidelines?

No. A change in the law alone is not a basis for a change in an order. See Minn. Stat. Sec. 518A.39, subd. 2(i). In addition, until January 1, 2008, modifications will only be granted in limited situations set out in the law. See Minn. Stat. Sec. 518A.39, subd. 2(j).

When does the law apply?

The provisions used to calculate parties' support obligations apply to actions or motions filed after January 1, 2007. Minnesota Session Laws 2006 Chapter 280, Section 44.

For cases filed after January 1, 2007, does the law apply to the calculation of past support (that accrued before January 1, 2007)?

Yes. Past support will be calculated under the new lawy in cases filed after January 1, 2007, even if the time period is before January 1, 2007. Minnesota Session Laws 2006 Chapter 280, Section 44.

I lost my job.  How do I get my child support modified?

You may notify the other party of your job loss and try to work out an agreement between you as to a new support amount.  If an agreement is reached you should reduce the agreement to a Stipulation and Order to be submitted to the Court changing your obligation to the new amount.  You may also file a Motion through the Expedited Child Support process in your County.

My ex-spouse is behind in child support.  How can I collect on the arrears?

If your child support is established through Support and Collections then you should contact your caseworker to discuss what collection methods are in place and whether other options are available.  The County Attorney often does not become involved until the amount becomes significantly high.  You can also file a Motion with the Court to seek collection on the arrears.

How will the court obtain information about each party's income?

The law requires each party to file a financial affidavit with their pleadings. If a party does not serve and file a financial affidavit the court may set income for that party based on credible evidence before the court or may determine the party's potential income. See Minn. Stat. § 518A.28(a). A financial affidavit form has been drafted by the Department of Human Services as required by law. It can be found in supplemental materials or .

If a parent is primarily staying home to care for a child or children (i.e. not working, or working less than full-time) will income be attributed to that parent?

Possibly, if home to care for a joint child. Definitely, if home to care for a non-joint child. The law includes a rebuttable presumption that a parent can be gainfully employed on a full-time basis. What used to be called "imputed income" is now called "potential income." See Minn. Stat. § 518A.32, subd. 5.

When does the parenting expense adjustment apply?

There must be a court order for parenting time or parenting time is being determined in the current proceeding. See Minn. Stat. § 518A.36, subd. 1.

If you have questions about filing for divorce in Minnesota, please contact our Minneapolis divorce attorneys today at (763) 746-4045 or fill out our on-line contact request form.


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