Minnesota Child Support
Assuring financial means for children of divorce
At the law offices of Katz & Manka, Ltd., we deeply respect Minnesota lawmakers and judges' historic desires to protect children in divorces,
physically, emotionally and financially. Their intent is to ensure that the parent best suited is not only granted custody, but also has the financial
resources (including court-ordered contributions from the other parent) to support the child. Our objective is to make sure the children of divorce's
custodial parent gets the financial support they need and deserve, and in a consistent and timely manner.
Child support can be a complicated and potentially contentious process. It is why having experienced Minnesota legal counsel every step of the way
What is child support?
Child support is a court-ordered obligation of one parent (or both) to help defray the costs of raising a child in a marriage that has dissolved or is in
the process of dissolving. Child support helps pay a share of the costs of:
• Extracurricular costs
• Additional funds may be required to assist with costs of daycare and health insurance costs.
How is child support determined?
In Minnesota, child support is calculated based upon what are known as Child Support Guidelines. As noted, experienced counsel is important to
help negotiate the intricacies and nuances of calculating income, appropriate adjustments to income and framing arguments regarding requests to
deviate from the child support guidelines which have gone through several recent changes that are noteworthy.
Income Sharing Guidelines
Since January 1, 2007, child support is based on an income sharing model. This calculates child support based upon a comparison of both parties'
gross monthly incomes (before deductions for taxes and other allowances) as well as how much time the children spend with each parent.
The new guideline cap is the combined gross incomes of both parties of $15,000 gross per month. These guidelines still calculate support as a
percentage based on the number of children supported.
Under the old child support guidelines it was a fairly straightforward mathematical calculation to determine guideline support once net income was
determined. The new guidelines require multiple calculations.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services has constructed a computerized Minnesota Child Support Guidelines Calculator to assist in
determining guideline child support under the new guidelines. And, as of January 1, 2008, those qualifying for “modification” of child support will be
subject to calculations done under the new child support guidelines.
Calculation changes and issues to discuss with your attorney
Deviation from the guidelines: Although the legislature has established guidelines for child support, the court may deviate from the guidelines
depending upon the facts of your case.
Reduction in child support based upon percentage of parenting time: Under the old guideline formula, the courts provided for an offset of child
support in situations where the parties shared custody. This formula was based on the percentage of time each parent cared for the children. Under
the new child support guidelines, a formula is built into the guidelines calculator which adjusts child support based upon three threshold levels of
Additional contribution for child care and health insurance expenses: Under the pre-January 1, 2007 guidelines, a separate formula established the
obligor’s contribution to daycare costs, which was in addition to guideline child support. The post-January 1, 2007 child support calculator makes
that calculation for the parties, based upon the cost of daycare and the percentage of time the child is with each party.