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Establishing And Modifying Child Support In Minnesota

Many parents worry about what child support will look like for them when they are no longer together. The parent who is likely to receive child support often worries about having enough to truly cover the cost of looking after the kids. The parent who will likely to be paying child support worries about having enough money left over for personal needs.In Minnesota, child support guidelines have been established to ensure that children are not disadvantaged by their parents’ divorce or separation. Children’s basic needs are supposed to be met through child support. While it seems straightforward, child support is often more complicated. Who pays for extracurricular activities? What if there are special needs? How are modifications to child support handled?At Steele Law Offices in Minnetonka, Minnesota, attorney Heidi Viesturs will guide you through the child support establishment or modification process. No two cases are alike and every person has their own unique circumstances that influence the case. Heidi will take the time to sit with you to ensure she understands your situation and your goals. She will work with you to develop a plan to achieve those goals.

How Child Support Works In Minnesota

Child support is determined by applying the state’s child support guidelines. The guidelines factor in the income of each parent, the number of children, as well as the expenses associated with raising each child. Expenses may include medical coverage, dental coverage, day care costs and education expenses. The court will also factor in the time each child spends at each household and whether there is any income coming in from other sources.

When each parent is receiving a paycheck, the calculation can be relatively straightforward. It is more difficult, however, if a parent’s income fluctuates. This is often the case with business owners. Some parents may also have unreported income.

Heidi Viesturs is adept at finding resolutions to complex child support matters. She will work with you to develop a strategy to ensure that your child’s needs are taken care of. She will also explain how child support is handled through the Division of Child Support at the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

How To Modify Child Support In Minnesota

Grounds for modifying custody are set out by Minnesota Statute 518A.39. Generally speaking, in order to modify a child support order, the person petitioning for modification must show there has been a substantial change in circumstance that would make it unfair to keep the order as it currently stands. Some of the circumstances that would warrant a modification of custody include:

Change in income — The income of one or both parents changes so much that if the new income was applied to the child support guidelines, there would be a 20 percent change in the amount of child support being paid.
Change in custody — There is a change in the custody arrangement of the child.
Public assistance — Either the parent or child receives public assistance.
Change in expenses — The parent who is paying child support experiences a significant change in child care or work expenses.
Insurance availability/cost — Health care insurance is no longer available or the cost of it has significantly changed.
Extraordinary medical expenses — The child has extraordinary medical expenses.
Emancipation — The child has become legally emancipated.

Let Us Help You Ensure Your Child’s Needs Are Being Met

The best child support arrangements are those that both parents can agree to. This is not always possible. Talk to a lawyer today to discuss your child support needs. You may call our office directly at 612-285-3756 or email our law offices using our online contact form.