Making monthly support payments might not be fun, but parents generally know just how important it is to give their children a sense of financial security. Life can change, though, and what was once affordable might now be too much. Luckily, parents are not simply doomed to fall behind on child support payments.

In Minnesota, it is a parent’s responsibility to take action when he or she can no longer keep up. This is done by petitioning the court for a modification of a current order. A judge will only approve a modification if there is a valid reason to do so. This means that a parent who is struggling to make payments despite no change in his or her personal finances will probably not succeed.

However, transitioning to a new job is a fairly common reason for modifications. A judge will even consider a modification if a parent still has the same job, but his or her cost of living went up. In most cases, genuine changes to income and financial situations are good reasons to head back to court.

Of course, the parent with primary custody could also petition for a modification, asking that the other person pays more. This usually happens if the parent responsible for paying gets a higher paying job, earns a raise or if a child’s needs change. Whether a parent needs a modification or think that an ex is petitioning for more than he or she can afford, it is important to be as prepared as possible when heading into a Minnesota court over child support matters.