Minnesota Child Support Lawyer

Minnesota’s child support laws are calculated on an “income-shares” model, which means that both parent’s gross incomes are considered when determining child support.  In addition to income, any calculation of child support also requires an analysis of how much is paid for a child’s health and dental insurance and who pays for that insurance as well as how much is paid for daycare and who pays for daycare.  Finally, there are adjustments to child support based on the amount of parenting time with each parent.

For example, if Parent A pays for the child’s health insurance through their employer, Parent B will be required to contribute to that cost.  The same is true for daycare expenses.  The amount of the contribution is determined by each parent’s percentage share of their total combined monthly income.  Finally, if Parent A has parenting time with the child between 10% and 45% of the time, he or she will get a 12% reduction in their monthly support obligation.  If parents share parenting time equally (or Parent A has more than 45% parenting time), child support will be reduced even further or there may not be any support paid at all, depending on the incomes of both parents.

Once child support has been established, it can only be modified upon a showing by the parent requesting the modification that there has been a substantial change of circumstances which makes the current amount unreasonable or unfair.  One of the most common reasons for a modification is the loss of employment.  However, child support can also be modified if one or both parent’s incomes’ have increased as well.

In Minnesota, child support hearings are often held before a child support magistrate.  A magistrate has the authority over all issues pertaining to the financial support of minor children.  A magistrate is prohibited from deciding such disputes as parenting time and custody.  Therefore, if there is a dispute about custody and child support, the matter will have to be heard before a district court judge.

Minnesota’s Department of Human Services has an online calculator which can be used by anyone to assist them in estimating what the amount of child support could be in any given scenario.