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Factors to consider when seeking child support modification

Even though divorced parents in Minnesota and elsewhere attempt to work together to meet the needs of their children during dissolution and post-divorce, it can be difficult to sort through some issues together. Child support is often a contentious topic, making it difficult to come to a workable agreement at times.

Whether you easily came to terms on a current child support order or not, the reality is that these agreements often need to change and adapt to the growing or fluctuating needs of the child. Such a situation causes some parents to seek child support modification. While this is not an uncommon process to go through, it is important that parents consider a few factors before seeking modification of a current child support order.

Parents should note that courts will not make child support modifications for just any reason. Typically, a parent must be able to show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. This typically means that the income of a parent has changed or the financial needs of a child have altered. Additionally, modifications could be approved if a parent has lost a job or a child's educational costs or medical expenses have gone up considerably in a short amount of time.

Custodial parents could also seek a child modification order if it is discovered that the non-custodial parent's income has increased significantly since the child support order originated. Additionally, if there has been a substantial increase in the child's financial needs, this is also a crucial time to seek child support modification. However, a parent should be careful to not seek modification for reasons the court might deem insignificant.

For non-custodial parents having trouble making child support payments, it is imperative that they take steps to seek modification. This could help them avoid serious penalties and consequences for delinquent payments. Finally, parents seeking to modify a current child support agreement should reach out to a child support enforcement office that is located in the state where the original order was issued.

Source:, "Before You Ask for a Child Support Modification," Jennifer Wolf, Feb. 24, 2016

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