Child support can be one of the major issues in a divorce involving children. Child support may also be sought by non-married parents from the other parent. Child support is the amount of money the non-custodial parent pays to the parent with physical custody for a child’s housing, food, clothing, transportation, education costs and other expenses related to the child’s care. Child support issues can be contentious, because the parent receiving it often believes it doesn’t cover nearly enough of the real child care costs, while the party paying it believes it’s way more money than that needed to pay the child’s expenses.
At your initial free consultation, KMH will explain how child support payments are calculated in Minnesota and when and how the amount awarded can be modified. We’ll evaluate your particular situation and determine whether you are receiving less or paying more child support than Minnesota law requires. If you are paying more or receiving less than you should be, KMH will zealously advocate on your behalf to correct the situation.
Overview of Child Support in Minnesota
Minnesota has child support guidelines that consider many factors and create a presumptive amount to be awarded. The court can change this amount if it determines it’s in the child’s best interest to do so. The key components of the child support calculation are the parties’ income, the child’s medical and dental insurance costs, child care costs, and the amount of awarded parenting time. The child support guidelines consider these factors and determine a presumptive amount to be awarded. However, the court can deviate from the guidelines if it believes it’s in the best interest of the child to do so.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services has an online child support calculator that can be found at https://childsupportcalculator.dhs.state.mn.us.
The amount of child support a parent pays is related to the amount of overnights the court has awarded to each parent.. For purposes of calculating the amount of support owed, there are three categories of parenting time: less than 10%, 10-45%, or 45.1-50%. Because the amount of money owed varies significantly between each of these categories, there is a “cliff” between each category. For example, the amount of child support owed if a parent has 45% parenting time versus 45.1% can be quite significant. This cliff can create more conflict between the parties because it may motivate parties to dispute even one day of parenting time.
In an effort to remove some of the conflict by evening out the sharp disparity between each of the categories – making the cliff more of a slope, the Minnesota Legislature has enacted new legislation governing child support calculations that will go into effect on August 1, 2018. KMH can advise you on how the new legislation will affect your right to receive, or your obligation to pay, child support and whether modification to a child support order should be sought.