In Minnesota, a parent’s obligation to support their child begins when the child is born, and does not end until a triggering event like the child getting married, or turning 18 years of age. A divorce proceeding does not terminate either parent’s obligation to support their joint child. In this article, we will discuss the basic types of child support in Minnesota, and how to calculate those costs.

Basic Child Support, Medical Support & Child Care Support

Parents are required to provide basic child support, medical and dental support, and day care support (if the child is young enough to still be in day care, and the parents are incurring work and/or school related child care expenses). So what does that mean?

  • Basic child support includes the costs for the child’s housing, food, clothing, transportation, education costs, and other expenses related to the child’s care.
  • Medical support includes the cost of carrying medical and dental insurance for a joint child or by contributing to the cost of health care coverage, public coverage, or uninsured/unreimbursed medical expenses.
  • Child care support is the contribution towards the child care expenses, like a traditional daycare center, verifiable costs paid to family members for child care/babysitting, adventure club, and before and after school care.

How to Determine Child Support

In general, the computation of child support is based on the following factors:

  • the number of joint minor children;
  • support obligations for other nonjoint minor children and/or nonjoint children who may be living in the home;
  • both parents respective gross (before taxes and deductions) monthly incomes;
  • the cost of dependent health and dental coverage;
  • child care costs; and
  • the amount of parenting time a parent is awarded. If a parent has at least between 10-45% of the parenting time, they will be awarded a parenting time expense adjustment.

It is important to note that parties should not expect child support to be waived or set a $0, even if their parenting time schedule is equal. The parties could work out an alternative arrangement (i.e., deviate from the guidelines) for a really good reason and present that reason to the child support magistrate or judge.

Even with the Minnesota Child Support Calculator available to families, child support is not always cut and dry. The computation of gross monthly income can often be complicated. At times, income is missed, counted twice, or simply calculated incorrectly.

Minneapolis Child Support Attorneys

Heimerl & Lammers has years of experience achieving maximum results for parents on both sides of the coin. It is important to have a well-trained Minnesota child support attorney, with acute attention to detail to run a cash-flow analysis at the time child support is established, and to examine tax returns, paycheck stubs, W-2’s, and in some cases bank accounts to ensure that our clients are not overpaying or under receiving child support. Contact our Twin Cities family law attorneys today to set up a free consultation.