If you share children with your spouse, you will need to support them financially after a separation or divorce. Several factors are generally used to determine how much you must pay each month including your income, the other parent’s income and the number of children you need to support. If your child’s needs or your financial circumstances change, a Minnesota judge may agree to modify an existing support order.
When your financial situation changes
A job loss, an increase in expenses or other changes to your monthly expenses may make it necessary to modify a child support order. The same may be true if your child’s other parent experiences a change in circumstances. If your circumstances change for the better, a judge may order you to pay more every month to help your child.
When your child’s needs change
As your child gets older, there is a good chance that it will take a greater level of financial support to meet that child’s needs. For instance, you may need to pay for braces, cover educational expenses or cover reasonable entertainment costs such as the fee for summer camp or a school field trip. A growing child may also need new clothes or incur other expenses that an existing child support agreement might not cover.
The agreement hasn’t changed recently
A child support modification may be considered if the order hasn’t been modified in the past 18 to 24 months. This is because there is a strong possibility that circumstances have changed enough during that period that a current order doesn’t preserve the child’s best interests.
If you struggle to stay current on a child support order, it may be best to speak with your former spouse or partner. The same may be true if you are a custodial parent who needs extra help caring for your child. Doing so may help you avoid penalties or make sure that your child’s needs are met at all times.