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New Child Support Law Goes into Effect August 1

Parents with court-ordered parenting time may be affected under a new law that may reflect expenses more accurately. Parents with court-ordered parenting time may be affected under a new law that may reflect expenses more accurately. |  Photo: WDIO, File

The Minnesota Department of Human Services contributed to this report.
Created: July 31, 2018 03:26 PM

A new law taking effect this week could help thousands of families who have a child support order that includes parenting time. According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the new law may help reduce conflicts between parents.

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Beginning August 1, officials will use a new formula to change how courts adjust the basic child support amount for parenting time expenses.  The court will base their changes on the number of court-ordered overnights that parents spend with their children. 

It is important to note that child support orders will not automatically change.  Minnesota DHS says parents will need to take action if they want to pursue an adjustment.

According to a press release, the law aims to reduce conflicts between parents over parenting time, acknowledge the higher expenses for parents who spend more time with their children, and recognize that children need the “basics” in both of their homes.

Depending on how their existing court order determines parenting time, parents interested in pursuing a change must file a motion or petition with the court or call their county child support office for more information about how the new adjustment could affect their child support. The court may modify the child support if the new amount is at least $75 and 20 percent higher or lower than the existing order.
Because Minnesota courts use multiple factors when setting child support, including the income of both parents and the number of their joint children, child support could go up, go down or stay the same after applying the new parenting expense adjustment.

“All children need financial support from both parents,” said Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper said in the release. “Child support promotes children’s well-being and helps families become self-sufficient. This law will give parents the potential to better care for their children and ultimately strengthen family relationships in our communities.”

For more information, contact your county child support office, or the Minnesota Department of Human Services Child Support Division at 651-431-4400 or on the child support website

Credits

The Minnesota Department of Human Services contributed to this report.

Copyright 2018 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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