In the state of Minnesota, child support is determined based on both parents’ income and the amount of parenting time each parent is awarded. Custody labels such as “joint physical custody” or “sole physical custody” do not carry the weight that they once did. If the court is looking to determine the custodial arrangement for child support, they only look at the percentage of parenting time each party exercises or was awarded in a prior court order.

Public Assistance

If a parent is on any form of public assistance, the court cannot impute income to a parent. This means the court may only calculate child support based off of what the parents actually made for a gross monthly income. Otherwise, if public assistance is not involved in a case, the parties may argue that one party should have a certain income due to prior work experience or that the other party is willfully underemployed or unemployed. Most often, if one parent does not work and there is no clear income level to impute to them, the court will consider 150% of minimum wage for that party’s monthly income.

Child Support Calculator

Once the parties’ income is established, the numbers are put into a child support calculator, available online. Both parents’ income is added together, giving a monthly income available for the child. each parent’s percentage of that total income is the percentage of responsibility assigned to them for child care expenses, medical insurance, and other unreimbursed costs related to the children.

While child support is calculated in a straight-forward way, it can be very confusing to parents looking to establish an amount of support or wondering if their child support obligation should be modified. If you have questions about how child support is calculated, call the family law attorneys at Heimerl & Lammers today.