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Modifications and other child support considerations

When parents in Minnesota get divorced, the noncustodial parent might be ordered to pay child support. This obligation is calculated using factors such as income and child care expenses. However, there are several other considerations parents should keep in mind regarding child support.

With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, child support will no longer affect taxes. However, the custodial parent is generally allowed to claim the child as a dependent on taxes. Parents who share custody could make other arrangements. Some might agree to take turns claiming the child on their taxes in alternating years. Parents who have two or more children could split their claims.

Child support can also be modified. The court system accounts for the fact that a parent may become disabled, unemployed or start making significantly more money. All of these factors could lead to a change in child support. In such circumstances, parents should return to court to request a modification. While child support and spousal support may both be required, child support is considered the more important of the two. Spousal support is usually adjusted alongside child support.

Parents who need a modification in child support may want to apply for the change as soon as possible. The reason is that the parent will continue to owe the same amount until the modification is approved. This is where a lawyer could provide valuable assistance. Legal counsel may help a parent through the modification process and obtain a more reasonable payment obligation.

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