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518.64 Modification of orders or decrees.

Subdivision 1. After an order for maintenance or support money, temporary or permanent, or for the appointment of trustees to receive property awarded as maintenance or support money, the court may from time to time, on motion of either of the parties, a copy of which is served on the public authority responsible for child support enforcement if payments are made through it, or on motion of the public authority responsible for support enforcement, modify the order respecting the amount of maintenance or support money, and the payment of it, and also respecting the appropriation and payment of the principal and income of property held in trust, and may make an order respecting these matters which it might have made in the original proceeding, except as herein otherwise provided. A party or the public authority also may bring a motion for contempt of court if the obligor is in arrears in support or maintenance payments.

Subd. 2. Modification. (a) The terms of an order respecting maintenance or support may be modified upon a showing of one or more of the following: (1) substantially increased or decreased earnings of a party; (2) substantially increased or decreased need of a party or the child or children that are the subject of these proceedings; (3) receipt of assistance under sections 256.72 to 256.87 or 256B.01 to 256B.40; (4) a change in the cost of living for either party as measured by the federal bureau of statistics, any of which makes the terms unreasonable and unfair; (5) extraordinary medical expenses of the child not provided for under section 518.171; or (6) the addition of work-related or education-related child care expenses of the obligee or a substantial increase or decrease in existing work-related or education-related child care expenses.

(b) It is presumed that there has been a substantial change in circumstances under paragraph (a) and the terms of a current support order shall be rebuttably presumed to be unreasonable and unfair if:

(1) the application of the child support guidelines in section 518.551, subdivision 5, to the current circumstances of the parties results in a calculated court order that is at least 20 percent and at least $50 per month higher or lower than the current support order;

(2) the medical support provisions of the order established under section 518.171 are not enforceable by the public authority or the custodial parent;

(3) health coverage ordered under section 518.171 is not available to the child for whom the order is established by the parent ordered to provide; or

(4) the existing support obligation is in the form of a statement of percentage and not a specific dollar amount.

(c) On a motion for modification of maintenance, including a motion for the extension of the duration of a maintenance award, the court shall apply, in addition to all other relevant factors, the factors for an award of maintenance under section 518.552 that exist at the time of the motion. On a motion for modification of support, the court:

(1) shall apply section 518.551, subdivision 5, and shall not consider the financial circumstances of each party's spouse, if any; and

(2) shall not consider compensation received by a party for employment in excess of a 40-hour work week, provided that the party demonstrates, and the court finds, that:

(i) the excess employment began after entry of the existing support order;

(ii) the excess employment is voluntary and not a condition of employment;

(iii) the excess employment is in the nature of additional, part-time employment, or overtime employment compensable by the hour or fractions of an hour;

(iv) the party's compensation structure has not been changed for the purpose of affecting a support or maintenance obligation;

(v) in the case of an obligor, current child support payments are at least equal to the guidelines amount based on income not excluded under this clause; and

(vi) in the case of an obligor who is in arrears in child support payments to the obligee, any net income from excess employment must be used to pay the arrearages until the arrearages are paid in full.

(d) A modification of support or maintenance may be made retroactive only with respect to any period during which the petitioning party has pending a motion for modification but only from the date of service of notice of the motion on the responding party and on the public authority if public assistance is being furnished or the county attorney is the attorney of record. However, modification may be applied to an earlier period if the court makes express findings that:

(1) the party seeking modification was precluded from serving a motion by reason of a significant physical or mental disability, a material misrepresentation of another party, or fraud upon the court and that the party seeking modification, when no longer precluded, promptly served a motion;

(2) the party seeking modification was a recipient of federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Title II Older Americans, Survivor's Disability Insurance (OASDI), other disability benefits, or public assistance based upon need during the period for which retroactive modification is sought; or

(3) the order for which the party seeks amendment was entered by default, the party shows good cause for not appearing, and the record contains no factual evidence, or clearly erroneous evidence regarding the individual obligor's ability to pay.

The court may provide that a reduction in the amount allocated for child care expenses based on a substantial decrease in the expenses is effective as of the date the expenses decreased.

(e) Except for an award of the right of occupancy of the homestead, provided in section 518.63, all divisions of real and personal property provided by section 518.58 shall be final, and may be revoked or modified only where the court finds the existence of conditions that justify reopening a judgment under the laws of this state, including motions under section 518.145, subdivision 2. The court may impose a lien or charge on the divided property at any time while the property, or subsequently acquired property, is owned by the parties or either of them, for the payment of maintenance or support money, or may sequester the property as is provided by section 518.24.

(f) The court need not hold an evidentiary hearing on a motion for modification of maintenance or support.

(g) Section 518.14 shall govern the award of attorney fees for motions brought under this subdivision.

Subd. 3. Unless otherwise agreed in writing or expressly provided in the decree, the obligation to pay future maintenance is terminated upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the party receiving maintenance.

Subd. 4. Unless otherwise agreed in writing or expressly provided in the order, provisions for the support of a child are not terminated by the death of a parent obligated to support the child. When a parent obligated to pay support dies, the amount of support may be modified, revoked, or commuted to a lump sum payment, to the extent just and appropriate in the circumstances.

Subd. 4a. Automatic termination of support. (a) Unless a court order provides otherwise, a child support obligation in a specific amount per child terminates automatically and without any action by the obligor to reduce, modify, or terminate the order upon the emancipation of the child as provided under section 518.54, subdivision 2.

(b) A child support obligation for two or more children that is not a support obligation in a specific amount per child continues in the full amount until the emancipation of the last child for whose benefit the order was made, or until further order of the court.

(c) The obligor may request a modification of the obligor's child support order upon the emancipation of a child if there are still minor children under the order. The child support obligation shall be determined based on the income of the parties at the time the modification is sought.

Subd. 5. Form. The department of human services shall prepare and make available to courts, obligors and persons to whom child support is owed a form to be submitted by the obligor or the person to whom child support is owed in support of a motion for a modification of an order for support or maintenance or for contempt of court.

Subd. 6. Repealed, 1995 c 257 art 3 s 17

HIST: 1951 c 551 s 11; 1974 c 107 s 26; 1978 c 772 s 59; 1979 c 259 s 31; 1981 c 360 art 2 s 48,49; 1982 c 424 s 130; 1983 c 283 s 1; 1983 c 308 s 22,23; 1984 c 654 art 5 s 58; 1985 c 266 s 3; 1986 c 406 s 8; 1987 c 403 art 3 s 90; 1988 c 532 s 14; 1988 c 668 s 24; 1951 c 551 s 11; 1974 c 107 s 26; 1978 c 772 s 59; 1979 c 259 s 31; 1981 c 360 art 2 s 48,49; 1982 c 424 s 130; 1983 c 283 s 1; 1983 c 308 s 22,23; 1984 c 654 art 5 s 58; 1985 c 266 s 3; 1986 c 406 s 8; 1987 c 403 art 3 s 90; 1988 c 532 s 14; 1988 c 668 s 24; 1990 c 574 s 22; 1991 c 266 s 7; 1991 c 292 art 5 s 79; 1993 c 340 s 45-48; 1Sp1993 c 1 art 6 s 52; 1994 c 630 art 11 s 12; 1995 c 257 art 1 s 31; art 3 s 11,12; 1997 c 187 art 2 s 13; 1997 c 245 art 1 s 29

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Revisor of Statutes