Washington County Attorneys Fight for Fair Child Support for Your Family

Helping Minnesotans with child support issues in Washington County and Dakota County

The Minnesota Legislature passed a law in 2005 that made major changes to the state’s child support rules and introduced new child support guidelines. Before the new law, Minnesota was one of only 13 states that did not consider both parents’ income in the calculation of child support.

Minnesota had traditionally required child support payments from the parent who was not awarded primary physical custody of the child. Under the new law, child support obligations are based on the gross income of both parents and the amount of parenting time each parent is awarded. At Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., we guide you through the child support process.

What else did the new child support law do?

In addition to establishing child support guidelines based on the parents’ gross income, the 2005 revision made many other significant changes, including:

  • Allocates childcare and medical support based on the income of each of the parents and defines what constitutes appropriate medical coverage for children
  • Presumes that each parent is entitled to have custody of their child at least 25 percent of the time
  • Calls for child support to be adjusted every two years based on changes in the cost of living
  • Grants parents a “parenting expense adjustment,” which is a 12 percent reduction of support payments for a parent who spends a specified amount of time with the child
  • Allows the support guidelines to take into account the fact that a parent provides for children from another marriage or relationship

Must a court follow the child support guidelines?

While child support in Minnesota generally is based on the statutory guidelines, the court can deviate from the guidelines based on factors that include:

  • Extraordinary financial needs
  • Extraordinary financial resources
  • The physical and emotional condition of the child
  • The child’s standard of living when the parents were together

An experienced family law attorney can review your family’s circumstances and explain how the child support guidelines are likely to affect your case.

Can child support be modified in Minnesota?

If your, your ex-spouse’s or your child’s circumstances change substantially, the court can modify your child support order. Some circumstances that could lead the court to modify the support order include:

  • A change of at least 20 percent in either parent’s gross income
  • A change in the number of children being supported by the paying parent
  • A material change in childcare costs
  • A change in the cost or availability of medical insurance
  • A change in the amount of medical care the child needs
  • One of the children subject to the child support order emancipate

If you believe you have grounds to modify your child support order, contact a knowledgeable family law attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. is dedicated to providing excellent legal representation in each and every case. We serve families throughout Minnesota, including in Washington County, Dakota County, Burnsville, Stillwater, Oakdale and Woodbury, MN. Contact an Oakdale family law firm with more than 60 years of combined experience. Call 651-379-3024 or contact us online.

Contact the Firm


Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.


20856 Holyoke Avenue,
P.O. Box 369,
Lakeville, Minnesota 55044