If a Minnesota parent responsible for paying child support suddenly gets a new job that pays less, they should be aware that their support payments will not immediately change as well. Failing to meet child support obligations could result in legal consequences. If the parent can no longer afford the original child support amount, however, there are steps that can be taken to lower it.
Before the support amount can change, a request to modify the child support order must be submitted to the court. It should be noted, however, that a new lower-paying job does not automatically mean that the child support amount will be lowered. The court will still take a variety of factors into consideration before approving the request. For example, courts may consider debt and medical expenses.
In some cases, a custodial parent may agree with the request to lower the child support amount. In these instances, the new terms will still need to be submitted to a judge for approval. If this step is not taken, the non-custodial parent could still potentially be held responsible for any past due child support.
A custodial parent can use child support to pay for medical needs, housing and school costs among other expenses. However, a court cannot order a non-custodial parent to pay so much in child support that they go into debt. If the non-custodial parent needs to reduce the amount of child support that is owed due to a change in financial circumstances, a family law attorney may assist with the modification request.