How to Modify an Existing Divorce Decree in Minnesota if Children Are Out of State

By Rebecca Hayley

A divorce decree ordered in Minnesota is recognized and enforced in all 50 states. When one or both parents leaves Minnesota, jurisdiction over modifying the provisions related to custody and parenting time is determined by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. To begin a modification of decree, you first must establish jurisdiction.

Step 1

Review sections 202 and 203 of the UCCJEA or the Minnesota equivalent statute Chapter 518D to determine jurisdiction over modification of custody and parenting time. Minnesota will relinquish jurisdiction only when the children and both parents no longer live in Minnesota. When one parent still resides in Minnesota, the original Minnesota court ordering the divorce decree still retains jurisdiction.

Step 2

Gather the evidence required to prove a substantial change in circumstances justifying your request for modification. Minnesota orders for child support made after 1983 include a cost-of-living adjustment clause, allowing for a modification every three years without a significant change in circumstances. But if you want to change your support amount before this period, or you want to change a custody or visitation provision, you need to show a material change in circumstance. A significant change in income or relocation might be reason for a modification.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Step 3

Prepare an affidavit in support and a motion for modification specific to either child support, custody, parenting time or the appropriate provision you wish to change. The forms may be found on the Minnesota court website or be prepared with the assistance of a third party-document preparation service.

Step 4

File your motion and supporting affidavit with the clerk of the court in the county where you lived when your divorce was granted, provided Minnesota retains jurisdiction. When another court outside Minnesota has jurisdiction, contact the clerk of the court for the appropriate county to inquire about additional steps to file in that jurisdiction. Rules of civil procedure govern the filing of pleadings and vary by jurisdiction.

Step 5

Serve a copy of the motion for modification and supporting affidavit on your former spouse. Minnesota procedural rules only require personal service for initial divorce proceedings not modifications, allowing you to serve your former spouse by mail, email or fax rather than by process server.

Step 6

Prepare and file a request for hearing on your motion with the clerk of the court. The clerk will set a hearing date and give you a notice of hearing when you file in person. Serve a copy of the notice of hearing on your former spouse in the same manner as the motion and affidavit were served.

Step 7

Attend your hearing and answer any questions from the court truthfully. The court will notify you if you need to prepare and submit a written order of modification reflecting the order of the court.

Step 8

Prepare and file an order of modification which reflects the orders made at the hearing, upon the request of the court. Do not sign the order: The judge will sign the order, and the court will mail copies to all parties. Some courts will prepare the order when all parties are pro se -- not represented by an attorney. For clarification on who must prepare the order, speak with the clerk of the court in your jurisidiction.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Revise a Colorado Divorce

References

Related articles

How Often Can You Check an Ex-Spouse's Income for Child Support in North Carolina?

Child support is awarded to a custodial parent to assist with the expense of raising a child. The non-custodial parent is legally obligated to pay once a court has ordered it. Although the court makes a determination on the amount of child support at the time child support is awarded, the order can be modified at a later date due to a change in circumstances, such as when an ex-spouse’s income increases.

How Often Can a Person File for an Increase in Child Support After the Divorce Is Final?

Generally, a judge orders child support payments in your divorce decree based on your family’s situation at the time of your divorce. Procedures vary according to state law, but courts can modify child support orders when a family’s situation changes, perhaps when one spouse receives a significant increase in income or the custody arrangements change.

North Carolina Modification of Child Support Laws

When North Carolina courts enter divorce decrees, they address topics such as child custody, child support and property division. Courts can sometimes modify the terms of a divorce when circumstances change after the divorce is finalized. Typically, courts can modify court-ordered child support when one parent can show that circumstances have changed.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to File for Modification of Child Support in Alabama

You may file for modification of child support anytime a change in circumstances, as defined by Alabama law, has ...

Can Child Support Go Up When a Spouse Makes More Money in California?

Child support orders are not permanent, but instead adaptable to particular changes of circumstance. In California, the ...

How to Obtain a Divorce Decree From California

A divorce decree, the final order from the court that officially ended the marriage, is needed for various reasons, ...

How to Reverse a Sole Custody Order in Missouri

Provided the existence of certain conditions, a parent can be successful in reversing a sole custody order in the state ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED