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Cost-of-living adjustments

A cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increases the amount of child support due because of increases in the cost of living. Minnesota law requires full-service child support and spousal maintenance orders include a cost-of-living provision, unless the court specifically waives it. These adjustments ensure the amount of support originally ordered increases to keep up with inflation.

The adjustment is based on the consumer price index specified in the court order. For cases receiving full services, each year that an adjustment is due, the child support office notifies the parents and automatically applies the adjustment on May 1. For income withholding-only cases or cases not involved with the child support program, a party may motion the court for the adjustment.

Under state law, the cost-of-living increase:

  • Applies only to basic support and spousal maintenance
  • Does not apply to medical support or child care support.

Parents may contest the increase by filing and serving a motion to contest.

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