Minnesota Online Calculator
The Child Support Enforcement Division of the
Minnesota Department of Human Services created an
online calculator with instructions to figure out
the amount of child support under the new law. Click
Child Support Calculator to go to their website.
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In January, 2007,
Minnesota's child support laws were modified by statute.
Some Key Terms in Minnesota's Child Support Law
The general legal concept of "child support" is made up of
three (3) parts:
Basic support = costs for a child's
housing, food, clothing, transportation, and education costs, and other
expenses to care for the child
Medical support = health insurance and other medical/dental
care support = child care costs when parents go to work or
- "Joint child" is a dependent legal child of both
parents in the support action.
"Non-joint child" is a dependent legal child of one,
but not both parents, in a support action. [NOTE: A step-parent is not
considered the "legal" parent of his/her step-child, unless the step-parent
legally adopted the child.]
Important Child Support Factors in Minnesota
- The Income Shares formula includes the gross income
of BOTH parents in figuring the amount of child support.
- The amount of court-ordered parenting time (visitation)
is considered in calculating "basic support." If a parent has the child
between 10% and 45% of the time, the parent gets a 12% adjustment
(reduction) in child support owed. If the parenting time is less than 10%,
there is no adjustment to child support. Percentage of time is generally
calculated by counting overnights the child spends with the parent.
- The law presumes that both parents can or should work
and earn an income. The Income Shares formula considers this
"potential income" as a factor in determining support.
- By law, if the parties do not provide specific details about their
income, the court will set child support based on other available evidence,
including past work experience, the current legal minimum wage, or it
will set a minimum amount provided for in the law.
Some of the critical changes are summarized
Financial Affidavit Form Required
If parents with joint children are parties to a
court action involving child support, the law now
requires that each parent complete a
Financial Affidavit showing all sources of
income. Each parent must
serve the other party and file
the Financial Affidavit with the court along with
their initial pleadings or motion documents. A party
must use the Financial Affidavit form provided by
the Department of Human Services, and the form and
instructions can be downloaded from the DHS website
Financial Affidavit Form.
Review of Court Orders. Every family court order or divorce judgment that
addresses the issues of child support, custody or parenting time will include an
attached form and instructions for either party to seek a review of the order
after a six month period. Once that written request for review is filed with the
Court Administrator, a hearing date will be scheduled. At that hearing, the
Court may impose penalties for contempt on either party based on their failure
to comply with the court orders. The hearing is designed to review the following
Child Support. Whether child support is current. The burden of
demonstrating that child support is current will fall upon the person paying
support. He/she may request an accounting of child support from the child
support enforcement office no less than 14 days prior to the hearing;
Parenting Time. Whether both parties are complying with the parenting
provisions of the Court order.
law, the labels related to “custody” are not important. Instead, child support is based on the gross income of each party and the percentage of time each parent spends with the children calculated generally by using the percentage of overnight visits during the year.
The child support guidelines form a rebuttable presumption regarding
the level of support that should be paid.
The combined incomes of the parents is referred to as
“Parental Income for Child Support” or “PICS.”
Every order that
applies the new child support laws must also indicate the percentage of time
that each parent spends with the child under the existing parenting schedule.
Where an order does not specify parenting time it is rebuttably presumed that
each parent has the children with them at least 25% of the time.
that is paid under the new statutory guidelines is specifically designated as a
payment for “basic support.” Basic support relates to the child’s housing, food,
clothing, transportation, education costs and other expenses related to the
child’s care. It specifically excludes costs related to child care (daycare) and
medical/dental expenses. There are two systems for computing child support under
the new guidelines. One system applies where the parents do not have equal
parenting time and second system applies where the parents have equal parenting
Parenting Time is not Equal.
of child support where the parents do not have presumed equal parenting time can
be calculated as follows:
Determine the gross income of
Calculate the parental income for
determining child support (PICS) of each parent, by subtracting from the
gross income the credit, if any, for each parent's nonjoint children under
determine the percentage contribution
of each parent to the combined PICS by dividing the combined PICS into each
determine the combined basic support
obligation by application of the guidelines below.
In other words, multiply
the presumptive child support amount by the percentage of the total income
represented by each parent’s individual income. In essence determine each
parents proportionate share of total income. This can be accomplished by
using each parent’s monthly gross income as the numerator and dividing by
gross income as the denominator. For example, if mom earns $2,000 gross per
month and dad earns $3,000 gross per month, the total income is $5,000 per
month. Child support for one child is presumed to be $780.00 per month. That
figure is divided proportionate to income. For dad, that would be
$3,000/5000 or 60%. As a result, his obligation would be $780.00 x .6 =
468.00. For mom it would be 40% or $312.00. Since dad has the greater
obligation, he is the obligor and would pay support to mom. There is no
offset of the amounts
determine the obligor's share of the
basic support obligation by multiplying that parents proportionate share of
the total income by the combined basic support obligation set forth in the
child support table; and
determine the parenting expense
adjustment, if any, as provided in by the
NonJoint children Adjustment.
That means you apply a
parenting time adjustment. If the parent has the child less than 10% of the
time there is no adjustment. If the parent has the child 10 percent to 45
percent of the time, there is a 12% adjustment. If the parent has the child
45.1 percent of the time to 50 percent of the time, it is presumed that the
parenting time is equal. The calculation for equal parenting will be
discussed in more detail below. Using the example above, if dad has the
children 30% of the time, his obligation is reduced as follows: 468 x .12=
56.16; 468 - 56.16= $411.84. As a result, dad would pay child support to mom
in the amount of $411.84 per month.
||Percentage Range of
|less than 10 percent
|10 percent to 45 percent
|45.1 percent to 50 percent
|presume parenting time is equal
If Social Security benefits or veterans'
benefits are received by one parent as a representative payee for a joint child
based on the other parent's eligibility, the court shall subtract the amount of
benefits from the other parent's net child support obligation, if any. See
Social Security and Veterans Benefits.
Parenting Time is Equal.
have presumed equal parenting time (45.1 to 50 percent of the time) would pay no
child support if their incomes were also equal. If their incomes are not equal,
the parent with the greater income would pay child support as follows
the combined basic support in the
table by 0.75;
Prorate the amount between the parents
based on each parent's proportionate share of the combined PICS; and
Subtract the lower amount from the
The resulting figure is the obligation
after parenting expense adjustment for the parent with the greater parental
income for determining child support.
CHILDREN FROM OTHER RELATIONSHIPS?
See Article regarding
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE OTHER PARENT REFUSES TO WORK FULL TIME?
See Article regarding