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Child Support

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 35 years of combined experience. Call 651-760-7524 or contact us online.

Our Attorneys
Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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