It is becoming increasingly common for parties other than a child’s biological parents to take over caring for a child on a regular basis. The legal process to change custody is through a third party custody action. In order to file this, you must have a connection to the child (either as a de facto custodian or an interested third party). The court will determine if you have a valid claim, and if it is in the child’s best interests to be in your care rather than the biological parents.
What happens once custody is transferred? Who is financially responsible for the child?
Minnesota Statutes set out specifically how child support is calculated based on guidelines for support. Minn. Stat. § 518A.35, subd. 1(c) states as follows:
“If a child is not in the custody of either parent and a support order is sought against one or both parents, the basic child support obligation shall be determined by referencing the guideline for the appropriate number of joint children, and the parent’s individual parental income for determining child support, not the combined parental incomes for determining child support of the parents.”
This means that the biological parents will remain financially responsible for the minor child, either jointly or separately. The custodian has one less thing to worry about in taking over the responsibilities that come with parenting a child.