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Lawrence D. Gorin
Lawrence D. Gorin, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1544
Experience:  30+ years family law experience. QDROs, UIFSA, UCCJEA expertise.
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In the state of MN it states that you can not go back to court

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In the state of MN it states that you can not go back to court to change your child support amount unless there is a 20% change in income levels. Is it possible to go back to court if the individual receiving the child support no longer wants to receive child support? Is there a piece of the child support calculation that takes into account the individual going back to college to finish a degree? Is it better to have the person decline the child support calculation amount up front and add in seperate terms that stated the dollar amount and length of time they will receive it?
YOUR FIRST QUESTION:
     In the state of MN is it possible to go back to court if the individual receiving the child support no longer wants to receive child support?

ANSWER:
     YES, but such a request would most likely be denied by the court, since it would violate the public policy of having both parents share in the obligation for financial support of their children.

     BUT..... if the support obligation is solely between the parents (with no portion being owed to the government as a “state debt,” as might occurs if kids are getting public assistance), your really do not need to go back to court. If the support is being paid and disbursed through the Minnesota Child Support Enforcement Division, the parent who asked for child support services may request that the support enforcement case be closed and all enforcement services be terminated. With the government then no being involved, the matter is entirely private and entirely between the parents. If the individual receiving the child support no longer wants to receive child support, he or she just declines to accept the payment (or simply tells the other parent not to send the money).

YOUR SECOND QUESTION:
     Is there a piece of the child support calculation that takes into account the individual going back to college to finish a degree?

ANSWER:
     Generally, NO, a parent’s decision to forego gainful employment (and abstain from earning money to support his or her children), is not a basis for eliminating or reducing the legal obligation and duty to financially support the children who you brought into the world. In sum, a parent’s desire to go back to college and finish a degree can always be postponed. But the obligation to support one’s children while the children are under age 18 cannot be postponed. So if something has to “give” between paying child support and going back to college, it will be the latter (going back to college), not the former.

YOUR THIRD QUESTION:
     Is it better to have the person decline the child support calculation amount up front and add in separate terms that stated the dollar amount and length of time they will receive it?

ANSWER:
     For divorced and never-married parent, the law requires that parental duties for financial support of their children be established pursuant to a formula and schedule (Child Support Guidelines). As a general rule, the parents are not free to agree between themselves as to the amount of the support obligation and have their decision be binding on the judge or magistrate. You cannot just “decline the child support calculation amount up front.” Support will be calculate and ordered in accordance with the Guidelines. After that is done (and in the absence of “state debt” or support enforcement services from the government), the parents are then free to work out whatever arrangements and agreements the find mutually agreeable. And so long as nobody seeks public assistance (TANF benefits, food stamps, state health insurance, etc.), the government will simply stay out of your lives.

NOTE: I realize that this answer may not be entirely to your liking, and I regret being the bearer of information that you really don’t want to hear. But it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information. I hope you understand.

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