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How child support reductions are determined

Divorced non-custodial parents residing in Minnesota and elsewhere in the U.S. may have questions about how to lower their child support payments. There are several reasons a child support reduction may be granted. For example, the court may allow a child support reduction if a parent suffers a significant change in his or her financial situation or when a child becomes an adult and is therefore capable of self-support. The court may also grant a child support reduction if both parents are in agreement about the reduction.

Some jurisdictions appoint a government agency to handle child support. If this is the case, it is likely that both parents will be required to complete a financial affidavit. If the agency determines that a reduction is indeed warranted, and if both parents agree that a reduction is necessary, the agency may lower the non-custodial parent's financial obligation. However, if the custodial parent is not in agreement that the non-custodial parent should be granted a reduction, it is likely that a court date will be set, and an appointment before a judge will be required.

If a government agency denies the reduction request and the non-custodial parent disagrees, the parent may then submit a motion to the court. In most jurisdictions, there are no court fees associated with these filings. The request should be filed as quickly as possible as the court generally does not allow a retroactive reduction in child support payments. If a parent is unable to make payments, the payments will pile up.

A parent who is concerned about his or her ability to make child support payments might consider working with an attorney with experience in family law. An attorney may be able to prove that a parent is indeed unable to continue making child support payments without a reduction.

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