There are few things in this world that are certain. With the return filing deadline this week, we were reminded that taxes are certain. It’s been suggested that death might be the only other thing we can be sure of. But if we go back in history we find the Greek philosopher’s view that, “The only thing that is constant is change.”
Change is certainly something that is common in nearly everyone’s life. But stability is something that society generally considers to be an ideal that we should strive for on behalf of our children. That can make for a certain measure of confusion and complication when it comes to identifying and creating plans for fulfilling child support obligations by parents.
Minnesota law starts from the premise that both parents are obliged to contribute to support of a child to the extent they are able. Guidelines exist for calculating the amount of money each parent will contribute. But finding a balance that serves the best interests of the child and the parents often requires some finesse. Working with a skilled attorney can help.
Changes in life also mean that there are bound to times when terms of a child support order need to be modified. Employment situations can shift suddenly. The law is equipped to handle change, but it doesn’t happen automatically. And in the meantime, support obligations don’t cease.
Here are things you need to know.
- File a motion for a support order change. Either parent can do this, but the court makes the final decision.
- There must be a clear reason. The bases for change could be substantial income change for either parent, the child incurring extraordinary medical expenses or suffering a major change in healthcare coverage, or the child achieving emancipation.
- The current order must be shown to be unreasonable. There are certain standards that must be met. An attorney can explain them.
- A support order review may be helpful. One can be requested through your county’s child support office.
- Be ready to state your case if a hearing is scheduled. Good preparation and participation help deliver better results.
Change happens, but there are ways to limit possible complications.