“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 a basic understanding 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. Once you know such factors, you can easily use the guidelines set in Minnesota’s child support calculator to figure out child support.
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
As of August 2018, Minnesota replaced it’s 3-tier Parenting Expense Adjustment (PEA) system and instead calculates the Parenting Time Expense (PEA) based on the parenting time order. Specifically, all parenting time orders must now have an overnight by overnight calculation for the amount of parenting time a parent has with his/her child(ren). For example, instead of seeing a percentage of parenting time, such as 49%, a parenting time order now needs to specify that the parent has 179 overnights. In addition, the PEA calculation is based on an average of two years. Each parent’s court ordered overnights, in addition to their basic child support obligation will be used to determine the adjustments made to child support because of parenting time.
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 and impact the amount of child support you’ll pay or receive.
In order to determine child support payments in Minnesota, a parent needs to know how much each parent makes. If a parent doesn’t know how much the other parent makes, a parent can make reasonable guesses in order to get a general idea of the amount for child support.
In addition, a parent will also need to know what percent of parenting time each parent has. Specifically, a parent will need to know the number of overnights s/he has with the child.
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.
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