In 2021, Minnesota enacted new legislation that changed child support laws in the state. Some of those changes became effective in August, 2022 while others became effective as of January 1, 2023.
As of August 1, 2022, the state is no longer charging interest to parents with past due child support payments. Minnesota’s Department of Human Services explained that this change will help parents eliminate or decrease debt, which hopefully means they would have more ability to pay outstanding child support.
More significantly, calculations to the way child support is calculated went into effect January 1, 2023. The intention is to make child support obligations more manageable. Support obligations for families with a joint income of less than $6,000 have been lowered. Additionally, parents with child support debt will now be able to enter into a payment agreement with the state before that debt is reported to credit agencies. Finally, the cap on combined incomes has been increased to $20,000 per month. This means that only the first $20,000 of combined monthly income of parents is used to determine a child support amount.
The state is also changing how non-joint children are treated. A non-joint child is the legal child of one parent but not the other. The new law provides for greater income deductions for up to six non-joint children per family. There are also new deductions for non-joint children where parents have a substantial responsibility for the non-joint child but there is no child support order in place.
Child support guidelines have also been changed as of January 1, 2023. The state has a child support calculator that reflects the newest guidelines. Your attorney will often use this calculator to assess what the guideline support would be in your case, based upon both parents’ incomes. These guidelines had been based on outdated economic data from 20 years ago, so the changes will better reflect current economic realities. The state also maintains a child support website with a number of child support topics, including information on how to get updates about your child support case online.
If you have an existing child support order, these changes to the law do not mean your order will be automatically reviewed or changed. Contact Haugen Law Group if you would like to discuss whether any of these changes apply to your situation and whether to file a motion to modify your child support obligation.