How much is child support in Minnesota?
“How much is child support in Minnesota?” is a very reasonable and common question from parents in divorce and child custody situations.
As stated in our article, Child Support in Minnesota, child support in Minnesota consists of basic support, child care support and medical support. If you haven’t already, we highly recommend that you check out that article to get the basics of child support in Minnesota.
However, in order to estimate how much child support you’ll pay or receive in Minnesota, you have to know how Minnesota calculates child support amounts and what influences child support payments.
What Influences Child Support Payments in Minnesota
1. Parental Income
Child support awards since 2007 in Minnesota are calculated based on the monthly income received by both parents. In order to calculate child support amounts, Minnesota has rules regarding what can be considered “income” for a parent. Typically, any kind of regular income is included. If one parent is not employed, and the court finds that s/he is able to work, income can be “imputed” to that parent. In addition, Minnesota presumes that parents are able to work a 40-hour work week, absent evidence to the contrary.
2. Parenting Time
There are three “brackets” of parenting time that influence a Minnesota child support award.
- One parent has less than 10% of the parenting time. In this case, which would most typically occur when one parent has no time with the child, the full amount of calculated support will be owed to the custodial parent.
- One parent has 10-45% of the parenting time. In this case, the parent with less time is entitled to a 12% reduction, called a parenting expense adjustment, in the calculated amount owed.
- The parents have between 45.1% and 54.9% parenting time. Although not necessarily required to be labeled as “joint physical custody”, this situation will most typically arise in such a case. In this case, the child support amount drops significantly. Review the numbers to see exactly how much it can impact child support. This is often why some parents will fight over 50-50 parenting time. In this 50-50 type of arrangement, the parent making more money will usually end up paying the parent making less money a small amount.
Learn more about: Parenting Time in Minnesota
Additional Factors That Influence Child Support Amounts in Minnesota
In general, the two most significant factors that influence child support amounts in Minnesota are parental income and parenting time, as discussed above. However, the following are additional factors that influence child support amounts in Minnesota:
- Spousal maintenance awards
- Medical and dental coverage costs for Joint children
- Child support payments for Non-joint children
- Medical assistance or MinnesotaCare for Joint children
- Number of Joint Children
- Number of Non-joint Children
- Potential Parental Income
- Child Care Costs for Joint Children
- Child Care Assistance for Joint Children
- Social Security Benefits
- Veterans Affairs Benefits
How To Calculate Your Child Support Amount in Minnesota
In Minnesota, you can use the Child Support Guidelines Calculator to determine how the above factors are used in calculating child support payments.
In order to calculate the guideline child support amount, a parent will need to know how much each parent makes. In the alternative, a parent can make several reasonable guesses to at least get a ballpark idea of what a support number would look like.
In addition, a parent will also need to know what percent of parenting time each parent has. This is typically measured by number of overnights with each parent, unless there is a court order indicating another standard to determine parenting time is more appropriate or was agreed to by the parents.
Lastly, a parent will need to know information involving the additional factors that are listed above in order to calculate child support. For example, a parent will need to be able to answer questions such as, “What is the monthly amount each parent is ordered to pay for spousal maintenance?,” and “What is the monthly cost of health care coverage for the joint child(ren)?”
Why the Child Support Guidelines Calculator Matters in Minnesota
Although it is a useful tool for these purposes, the calculator is not just there for advice and ballpark ideas. The child support guidelines calculator is used as the default method for calculating support in Minnesota for divorce and family law attorneys, in addition to, parents making calculations themselves. In many divorce and custody cases, a print out of the child support guidelines calculations will be attached to the court paperwork for the judge to review. Although the court has final authority when determining the amount of child support that will be ordered, the child support guidelines calculator plays a significant role.
Learn more about: What Happens When Your Ex Doesn’t Pay Child Support
Learn more about: What Happens To Child Support When You Get Married