Minnesota Child Support
An initial award of child support may be made when both parents and the child reside in Minnesota and almost always when the custodial parent and the child reside in Minnesota.
A custodial parent who moved to Minnesota from another state where a child support order was issued can also register the order for enforcement in Minnesota.
Minnesota Child Support Components
Minnesota child support is comprised of three parts:
1. Basic support – this is a calculated number that represents what is to be used for food, clothing, shelter, and other basic needs of the child. this is based on both parents’ incomes and the amount of parenting time the parents spend with the children. Parenting time is typically, although not necessarily, measured in number of overnights over the course of a year.
2. Child Care support – for children who need child care, the parent paying the out of pocket expense is entitled to reimbursement from the other parent. This is based on each parent’s share of total income.
3. Medical support – this includes both monthly medical expenses, like premiums, and out of pocket medical expenses, like co-pays.
Minnesota child support can be calculated simply by going to the Minnesota Department of Human Services website and using their child support calculator. This value is called the “guideline” amount.
Judges commonly will use the guideline amount unless there is a compelling reason not to.
Minnesota Child Support Modifications
After an initial award of child support, child support can be modified. The required standard is that there has been a substantial change in circumstances that makes the current child support award unreasonable and unfair.
There is also a presumption that when, “the application of the child support guidelines in section 518A.35, to the current circumstances of the parties results in a calculated court order that is at least 20 percent and at least $75 per month higher or lower than the current support order” that the current order is unreasonable and unfair. (See Minn. Stat. 518A.39, subd. 2)
The most typical reasons for a change in support would be that one of the parties has a drastic change in income. Another possibility is if the parties have a drastic change in parenting time or in need.