If a child support order was part of your divorce, a judge may have taken many factors into account when setting payment amounts. In addition to your children’s educational, housing, and health care needs, the court may have reviewed the income and other financial resources of both you and your spouse.
However, these factors are likely to change as your children grow and you and your ex begin navigating your separate lives. As in other states, in Minnesota, you may be able to request support modification after a significant change in financial circumstances.
When can you request child support changes?
A judge may approve a change to support amounts if there has been a substantial change in either a child’s needs or a parent’s ability to provide. Examples of major changes that the court may consider grounds for modification include:
- A significant increase or decrease in either parent’s income, including a job loss or raise
- A dramatic change in living expenses for either parent
- A substantial change in a child’s medical, educational or specialized care needs
- Loss of health care coverage or higher, lower coverage costs
- Changes in custody arrangements
It is important to know that you must request a change of support amounts with the court; modification is not guaranteed, and your order may not be eligible for changes unless your situation meets certain specific requirements.
If you and your ex-spouse agree about changing your current support order, you may also negotiate a new payment arrangement between yourselves. Mediation is often a helpful tool for divorced parents looking to renegotiate support and/or custody issues. However, for the new agreement to be legally binding, it is essential that you and your former spouse receive official court approval.