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Child Support in Minnesota

Child support in Minnesota is a significant issue for many separated and divorcing parents. And for good reason. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Expenditures by Children on Families 2013 Report, it will cost around $245,340 ($304,480 adjusted for projected inflation) to raise a child born in 2013 to his/her 18th birthday.* Therefore, as a divorcing or separated parent, learn as much as you can about child support in Minnesota.

Continue reading to find out….

  • What expenses are included in Child Support;
  • How Child Support is calculated; 
  • What counts as Parental Income when determining Child Support;
  • What influences how much child support you’ll pay/receive; 
  • How to calculate your child support amounts/payments; and
  • Common Child Support disputes in Minnesota. 

Child Support in Minnesota

NOTE: This estimate doesn’t include any costs associated with pregnancy and child birth, or costs associated with the child after turning 18, such as higher education. In addition, this estimate depends on factors such as, household income, geographical region, number of children, etc… However, you can estimate how much it’ll cost to raise your child by using the USDA’s cost of raising a child calculator. Lastly, see the press release for the average cost of raising a child report, to discover how inflation was projected. 

What is Child Support in Minnesota?

Child Support in Minnesota

The legal definition of Child Support in Minnesota is:

  • An amount for Basic Support, Child Care Support and Medical Support pursuant to a court order (dissolution, legal separation, annulment or parentage proceeding) for the care, support and education of any child of the marriage or of the parties to the proceeding.
  • In Minnesota, these 3 different components (Basic Support, Child Care Support and Medical Support) make up what people refer to as “Child Support.” 
  • Therefore, in Minnesota, all 3 parts (Basic Support, Child Care Support and Medical Support) must be addressed in any Child Support Order

Child Support in Minnesota Costs

Child Support in Minnesota: A Three Part System 

PART 1 – Basic Support

Basic support is what most people think about when it comes to child support. Basic support refers predominantly to the cost of meeting the day-to-day needs of the child. For example, basic support involves the cost for food, clothing, and shelter for the child.

PART 2 – Child Care Support

Child care support refers to the cost to place the child with a child care provider. Most typically, child care support comes up when a parent has to place the child with a child care provider while working. In this case, child care support becomes a cost included in child support.

PART 3 – Medical Support

Medical support involves the medical and dental insurance costs for the child. Medical support can also include out-of-pocket medical and dental expenses.

Child Support in Minnesota Basic Support, Medical Support and Child Care Support

Child support in Minnesota includes basic support, child care support and medical support. Therefore, all three areas should be addressed in a child support order in Minnesota. Pin this image to save as a handy reference.

How to Calculate Child Support in Minnesota 

With a few potential adjustments, child support in Minnesota is determined by:

1. The total gross income of both parents, and

2. The parenting time each parent has with the child.

Learn more about: Parenting Time in Minnesota

Learn more about: How much will I pay/receive for my kids?

How is a Parent’s Income determined for Child Support?

As previously mentioned, child support is based on the total gross income of both parents. Therefore, the gross income of each parent is needed to calculate child support.

Gross income is the total amount of income from a parent before taxes, as defined by Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 518A.29. The following image shows what can be included when determining parental gross income. 

child support in minnesota parental gross income

Pin and save this image to recall what counts as parental income when determining child support in Minnesota.

In addition, gross income on salaries, wages, commissions and other compensation paid by third parties is based upon the amount before participation in any employer-sponsored benefit plan (such as, a flexible spending account or health savings account) or contributions to pensions, 401-K, IRA, or other retirement benefits. 

Common Child Support Disputes in Minnesota

When child support is argued in Minnesota, it’s rarely over how child support was calculated. The state uses specific equations to calculate the amount of child support, so that part of child support is pretty straightforward. Instead, when there are disputes regarding child support in Minnesota the disputes often involve the factors that influence child support. As you saw above, child support is significantly influenced by parenting time and parental income. Thus, parenting time and parental income (especially when one parent in the divorce is self-employed or unemployed) are typically the issues that are disputed. 

Learn more about: What Not To Do and Do When Your Ex Isn’t Paying Support

Learn more about: How Your Marriage Impacts Future Support for Your Kids 

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