New Law: Backdating Support Modifications

A Minnesota case, Leifur v. Leifur, 820 N.W.2d 40 (Minn. App. 2012), highlighted a problem regarding agreements to select effective dates for modification of support or maintenance. Leifur held that the parties’ stipulation to select a future effective date for modification of maintenance or support, without also agreeing to a modification, would not be honored because modification could only occur from the date a party served and filed a motion for modification. The court reasoned that to allow an earlier effective date would be tantamount to permitting an improper retroactive modification of maintenance or support.

The new law addresses this problem by honoring the parties’ agreement to select an alternative effective date for modification of maintenance or support awards. It also provides that to do so is not a retroactive modification of maintenance or support.

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