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Motion to Modify Child Support or Spousal Maintenance - Do it Yourself

Contents
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Click "Proceed" above to get to the guided interview. If you only want the form by itself, click this link

Step 1

About this Program

Welcome! This free program helps you create the forms to ask the court to change the amount of child support or spousal maintenance in Minnesota. These forms are called a Motion to Modify Child Support and/or Spousal Maintenance

The program works by asking you questions. It uses your answers to fill out your form. You can print your form and file it with the court.

It could take an hour to get through the interview. If you don't have enough time to finish, save your answers by creating an account with LawHelp Interactive. You can create an account now or any time during the interview.

Before you start the interview, you need to read the instructions on the next 3 tabs. 

To continue, click on the green Step 2 tab above.

Step 2

 About this Motion to Modify Child Support or Spousal Maintenance
What do I have to show to change the amount of child support?

Minnesota has guidelines to set child support. The guideline is called Income Shares. Income Shares sets child support by looking at the gross income of both parties. Gross income is your total income before taxes are taken out.

Parents who want to change child support have to show that there have been big changes since the last order that make it necessary to change child support. These big changes could be:

  • A big change in the income or needs of either parent
  • A big change in the needs of the child
  • Getting public assistance
  • High medical costs for the child
  • New or changed child care costs
  • A change in who your children live with or a child being "emancipated"

The court will not change the child support order unless the child support amount will go up or down by at least 20 percent and $75.

If you get child support payments AND you get public assistance or help from the county collecting child support payments:

If you are the parent who gets child support and

  • you get public assistance OR
  • your county or tribe's child support office helps collect child support payments,

your child support worker may be able to help you ask the court to change your child support order.

  • Send a letter to your child support worker asking to change your child support order. Use the form at the end of the "Now That I Have a Child Support Order" fact sheet.
  • The child support office will either start your case for you or send a "denial" letter saying they will not help you.
  • If the child support office denies you, you can still go to court on your own. Use this interview to create your forms.
  • If the child support office takes your case, they will write the papers for a change in child support and you do not need to use this interview. Read the section called "How do I change the amount of child support" in the "Now That I Have a Child Support Order" fact sheet for more information.
To continue, click on the green Step 3 tab above.

Step 3

What Information Do You Need?
Before you start the interview, make sure you have the following information. 

1.   A copy of your current child support and/or spousal maintenance order     

  • If you do not have a copy of your order, call the courthouse in the county where you went when the child support case was started. You may need to pay a fee to get a copy of the order.
  • If you don't remember which county the courthouse was in, you can look up your case on the court's website:
    1. Go to: pa.courts.state.mn.us/default.aspx
    2. Click, "Civil, Family & Probate Case Records"
    3. In the "Search By" drop-down menu, select "Party"
    4. Type in your first and last name
    5. Click on your case to see what county it was filed in.

2.   Up-to-date financial information

  • Proof of your employment, like paystubs or W-2;
  • If you lost your job, proof of losing your job;
  • Credit card and bank statements;
  • Tax returns;
  • Proof of any payments you receive (like unemployment, worker's compensation, social security);
  • Proof of your expenses (like health insurance payments or child care costs).

3.   Court Fee or Court Fee Waiver     

  • You have to pay a fee to file your Motion to Modify Child Suport. If you cannot afford to pay the fee, you can ask for a fee waiver.
  • You may be able to get a fee waiver if you fit into 1 of these 4 categories:
    1. You receive public assistance.
    2. You have a low income. Your income must be below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines.
    3. You have a free lawyer because of your low income.
    4. You can show you do not have enough money to pay the fee and also pay your basic expenses.

To continue, click on the green Step 4 tab above.

Step 4

What Does Your Computer Need?
This interview will only work on a desktop computer. If you only have a mobile device, go to a library or other location with a desktop computer and printer. If you are at a library, you can skip this step of instructions. Public computers already have these programs installed. If you are using your own computer, make sure your computer has the following:

1.   Microsoft Word or Word Viewer

If you don't have Microsoft Word, you can use Word Viewer to view, copy, and print your forms (but it won't let you make changes.) Click here to get Word Viewer for free.

(Note: Microsoft Word Pad is not the same as Microsoft Word and will not work with this program.)

2.   Adobe Flash Player

If you don't have Adobe Flash Player, click here to get the newest version for free.

To continue, click on the green Step 5 tab above.

Step 5

Click "Proceed" above to get to the guided interview. If you only want the form by itself, click this link: mncourts.gov

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