Changing a Support Order

Minnesota Statute 518A.39 provides that the court may change support orders if there is a substantial change in circumstance which makes the terms of the order unfair. 

One or more reasons must be shown: 

  • Increase or decrease in gross income or need of either parent. (Based on the parent's current gross income, changing the current child support amount would result in a new child support amount that is at least 20 percent or at least $75, higher or lower, than the current court ordered amount of child support.) 
  • Public Assistance (MFIP, child care assistance, Medical Assistance, Minnesota Care) is being paid. 
  • A change in cost of living for either party. 
  • Extraordinary medical expenses of the child or change in the availability or cost of health care coverage. 
  • There is a change in work or education related child care expense. 
  • Emancipation of a child. 
  • Custody of the child has changed. 

Changing a court order

Only the court can change a court order.  There are several ways to ask the court for a new court order.  You can:

  • Ask for a review.  If you are receiving child support services and have a change in circumstances, ask the county for a “review” to see if the county would bring a motion. The county does not represent either parent and will make an independent determination as to whether or not the county will prepare its own motion.  If a motion is brought, the date of the change is from when a motion is served, not when you contact the county.  Call your local child support office for more information. If you are receiving child support services through Wright County, you can call 763-335-0270 for assistance.
  • Bring your own motion. There are “do it yourself” forms and instructions on the Minnesota Supreme Court website. Court Administrator Offices or libraries may also have the forms.  You may also wish to contact a private attorney.  
  • Reach an agreement. If everyone agrees to a new support obligation, the County can prepare a document called a Stipulation and Order.  If signed by you, the other parent, the attorney for the county and a judge/magistrate, the document becomes the new court order.  No motion or hearing is required to do a Stipulation and Order.  Call your local child support office for more information. 

For more information on changing your court order or child support laws, go to Minnesota Department of Human Services’ Child Support website