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Child support modifications and other considerations

When parents of minors get divorced, they may need to make child support arrangements. Like most states, Minnesota has a formula for determining child support that includes accounting for each parent's income, how many kids are involved and how much time the children spend with each parent.

However, even after child support is in place, it can still be modified when necessary. A court may approve a child support modification if one parent's income drops for reasons such as disability or unemployment. If there is spousal support, that will usually be lowered along with child support. A modification could also be approved if the noncustodial parent gets a significant increase in income.

There are no tax issues around paying or receiving child support. However, the custodial parent is generally allowed to claim their child as a dependent on taxes. Some parents prefer to share this benefit by having each claim the kid in alternating years. Those who have multiple children could work out an arrangement where they split dependences.

Parents who want to ask for a modification in child support may want to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. It can take some time to get the modification approved, and it is not retroactive. This means that the parent will still be responsible for any back payments and interest even if the payments are modified going forward. The office of child support enforcement may assist a parent in collecting late payments if there is a formal agreement in place. In some cases, a parent's tax refund or wages may be garnished to cover missed payments.

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Marvin Law Office, L.L.C.

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