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How is child support calculated in Minnesota?

On Behalf of | May 15, 2019 | Custody, Divorce, Legal Separation, Paternity |

In Minnesota, regardless of if you have a child from a marriage or have a joint child outside of a marriage, when either party brings an Court action, both parties will be Ordered to contribute to the support of the child based upon the guidelines and formulas set forth in Minnesota Statute § 518A.

Minnesota Statute requires the Court to take into account the following factors in calculating child support:

1. The number of children for which child support is being paid.
2. The income or potential income of both parents.
3. The amount of spousal maintenance (if any) being paid by one party to the other.
4. The amount of child support being paid by one party to a third-party for a non-joint child.
5. The number of non-joint children residing with either parent.
6. The cost of any medical and dental insurance coverage being provided for the child(ren).
7. The cost of any work or education related child care being provided for the child(ren).
8. The amount of time the child(ren) is/are ordered to be with each parent.
9. The amount of public assistance (if any) being expended for the child(ren).

In many situations the answers to these questions are very straightforward. In other cases, it becomes significantly more complicated if one or both of the parents is self-employed, unemployed (and seeking work), working less than full-time, or choosing not to work outside the home at all. Notwithstanding, once each of the factors outlined above is addressed, the Court will apply a formula which will result in the presumed amount of child support payable from each party to the other.

Once the Court determines the presumed amount of basic child support payable under the statutory formula (or the “guideline amount”), either party may request that the Court order a party to pay more or less than the guideline amount of support. While it is unusual for the Court will deviate from the guideline amount, in order to do so the Court must determine that the payment of a higher or lower amount of child support would be in the best interests of the child(ren).

In addition to transfer of basic child support, in most cases, the Court will Order both parties to share in the cost of medical and dental insurance coverage, child care costs and uninsured medical and dental expenses.

While seemingly straightforward, child support can quickly become and complicated issue based upon a number of regularly changing factors. If you have more questions about child support, please contact our office for a no charge consultation.

This website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this website should be taken as legal advice for any specific circumstance. As laws vary from state to state, some information on this website may not be correct for your jurisdiction and cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your state.