MinnesotaChild Support Laws
Minnesota Child Support Guide :: Table of Contents
Child support is an ongoing payment by a non-custodial parent to assist with the financial support of their children. Child support payments are often determined during the process of dissolution of a marriage through divorce, though the only requirements for requesting child support payments are establishment of paternity and maternity.
Child support is handled on a state level, and Minnesota has a set of specific child support guidelines. On this page you can learn about how child support is calculated in Minnesota, how custody split and extraordinary costs affect child support payments, and more.
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Minnesota uses the "income share" method for calculating child support payments, which is designed to ensure that both the custodial and non-custodial parents contribute to their child's upkeep.
In the event of parents sharing custody of a child, the Minnesota judge who sets child support may deviate from the basic child support formula to account for this. Other special situations accounted for under Minnesota's child support law include childcare costs. These costs may be additions to the basic Minnesota child support order.
What Factors are Considered in Determining Child Support Payments?In evaluating the best interests of the child for purposes of determining issues of custody and parenting time, the court must consider and evaluate all relevant factors, including:
- a child's physical, emotional, cultural, spiritual, and other needs, and the effect of the proposed arrangements on the child's needs and development
- any special medical, mental health, or educational needs t hat the child may have that may require special parenting arrangements or access to recommended services
- the reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient ability, age, and maturity to express an independent, reliable preference
- whether domestic abuse, as defined in section 518B.01, has occurred in the parents' or either parent's household or relationship; the nature and context of the domestic abuse; and the implications of the domestic abuse for parenting and for t he child's safety, well - being, and developmental needs
- any physical, mental, or chemical health issue of a parent that affe cts the child's safety or devel opmental needs
- the history and nature of each parent's participation in providing care for the child
- the willingness and ability of each parent to provide ongoing care for the child; to meet the child's ongoing developmental, emotional, spiritual, and cultural needs; and to maintain consistency and follow through with parenting time
- the effect on the child's well - being and development of changes to home, school, and community
- the effect of the proposed arrangements on the ongoing relationships between the child and each parent, siblings, and other significant persons in the child's life
- the benefit to the child in maximizing parenting time with both parents and the detriment to the child in limiting parenting time with either parent
- except in cases in which domestic abuse as described in clause (4) has occurred, the disposition of each parent to support the child's relationship with the other parent and to encourage and permit frequent and continuing contact between the child and the other parent
- the willingness and ability of parents to cooperate in the rearing of their child; to maximize sharing information and minimize exposure of the child to parental conflict; and to utilize methods for resolving disputes regarding any major decision concerning the life of the child.
Child support can be arranged out of court by a mutual support agreement between the parents, or can be decided in Minnesota family court through a child support order. In Minnesota, a number of factors are taken into account when determining the amount of child support to be paid in court. Here is an explanation of the two most common methods used to calculate basic child support amounts.
Income Share Method
Under the income share model, the court uses economic tables to estimate the total monthly cost of raising the children. The non-custodial parent pays a percentage of the calculated cost that is based on their proportional share of both parents' combined income.
Example: The non-custodial parent of one child has an income of $2,000 per month, and the custodial parent has an income of $1,000 per month. The court estimates that the cost of raising one child is $1,000 a month. The non-custodial parent's income is 66.6% of the parent's total combined income. Therefore, the non-custodial parent pays $666 per month in child support, or 66.6% of the total child support obligation.
Percentage Of Income Method
This method of calculating child support is simple - a set percentage of the non-custodial parent's income is paid monthly to the custodial parent to cover basic child support expenses. The percentage paid may stay the same, or vary if the non-custodial parent's income changes.
Example: The non-custodial parent of one child has an income of $2,000 per month. The court orders a flat percentage of 25% of the non-custodial parent's income to be paid in child support to the custodial parent. Therefore, the non-custodial parent pays $500 per month in child support. If the non-custodial parent's monthly income changes, the dollar amount they pay in child support will change as well.
Minnesota Child Support FAQ
- How does having shared custody of the child affect child support in Minnesota?
- How are extraordinary medical costs treated by child support in Minnesota?
- How are child care costs treated by child support in Minnesota?
- Does child support cover college education expenses in Minnesota?
- How is child support enforced in Minnesota?
- What are child support arrears?
- How are child support payments taxed in Minnesota?
How does having shared custody of the child affect child support in Minnesota?
All states have a method of modifying the amount of child support owed in cases where the custody agreement provides for joint or shared custody of a child between both parents.
Minnesota law allows the judge overseeing the child support order to use a shared custody agreement as justification for a variation from the state's general child support calculations. This means that if the non-custodial parent shares parenting time with the custodial parent, the judge might reduce the amount of child support owed to account for the resources spent by the non-custodial parent during their time with the child.
How are extraordinary medical costs treated by child support in Minnesota?
Unlike most states, Minnesota has no special provisions for extraordinary medical costs in their child support guidelines. The cost of medical care is lumped in to other costs of providing for the child when child support calculations are being made.
How are child care costs treated by child support in Minnesota?
Due to the high costs of child care for a single payment, Minnesota has specialized guidelines that consider child care costs separately from the general costs of raising a child for the purposes of calculating child support payments.
Minnesota treats child care costs as a "mandatory deduction" for basic child support. This means that if the non-custodial parent pays child care costs, the portion of the total monthly child care costs attributed to the custodial partner are deducted from the noncustodial partner's monthly child support payment. If the custodial parent pays for child care, the non-custodial parent must pay their share in addition to basic child support.
Does child support cover college education expenses in Minnesota?
While the state of Minnesota has no explicit requirement for college expenses to be covered under child support, support for college expense by the non-custodial parent may be voluntarily agreed to by both parties, after which it is contractually enforceable.
How is child support enforced in Minnesota?
In the state of Minnesota, child support is enforced by the state child support agency. The state agency handles the location of non-custodial parents, enforcement of support orders, and the handling of unpaid child support arrears.
What are child support arrears?
Child support arrears are the amount of child support that is delinquent, or unpaid, by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent. Child support arrears may be collected by the state through wage garnishment, bank levy. withholding of Minnesota welfare benefits, or other collection methods.
How are child support payments taxed in Minnesota?
Under IRS guidelines, the recepient of child support does not need to pay federal tax on child support payments, and the payer of child support cannot deduct their child support payments. This differs from the federal taxation of alimony payments, which are treated as taxable income by the receiver and are deductible by the payor. Minnesota tax law may vary on tax treatment of child support.