Minnesota Child Support

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In Minnesota every child has the legal right to get support from his/her parents. Parents have to bear the expenses of raising the minor child, whether they are divorced or living together as a family. This state has developed laws and procedures to address issues of child support. Minnesota divorce child support is the court-ordered financial contribution made by one parent to the other parent/guardian/caretaker. The child support program helps parents establish a financial partnership amongst them so that their child can meet the basic requirements.

From January 1, 2007 onwards, the child subsidy amount is determined by the Minnesota child support guidelines after utilizing the following information:

  • The number of children
  • The income of the father and the mother
  • The availability and expenses of medical support
  • The expenditure on the upbringing of the child at different income levels

These guidelines comprise of child care, medical and basic support.

Calculation of Minnesota Divorce Child Support

The Minnesota Child Support Enforcement Division calculates the support amount that the court might order by using a Child Support Guidelines Calculator. The use of this calculator is for educational and informational use only. This is not a substitute for the guidelines.

In order to use the calculator, the following data is essential:

  • The amount or percentage of parenting time that was granted in the court order
  • The amount of child care expenses
  • The monthly expenditure for both dental and medical coverage
  • Due to the parent's retirement or disability, the amount of benefits from the US Department of Veterans Affairs or Social Security that is given to a joint child
  • Existence of any spousal maintenance order for either parent
  • Existence of any other child support orders related to any parent
  • Number of children who reside in each parent's house (the children regarding whom the parent has a support order from the court to disburse are not counted)
  • The gross monthly income from all sources of each parent
  • In case the parent is imprisoned, his/her capacity to disburse the minimum basic support is not applicable.

Many states in the USA define a minimum support amount to be disbursed by obligors or non-custodial parents for supporting their children. In Minnesota, if the gross income of the obligor is less than 120% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for one person, the support guidelines are described in the following ways:

  • $100 per month for 5 or more children
  • $75 per month for 3 or 4 children
  • $50 per month for 1 or 2 children

Alteration in Minnesota Divorce Child Support orders

The court might alter an order in the certain circumstances that are elaborated here:

  • Emancipation of the child
  • There is a considerable increment or decrement in existing education-related and work-related child care expenditures. The education-related or work-related child care expenses borne by the obligee have become a new addition.
  • There is extensive increase or decrease in health care coverage expenses. A modification in the availability of health care coverage is also considered important in this context.
  • The child incurs extraordinary medical expenditures.
  • The cost of living of either parent has been altered.
  • The child or one/both parents receives public assistance.
  • The requirements of the child or parents have considerably increased or decreased.
  • The gross income of either parent has been extensively raised.
Calculation of gross monthly income

The term 'gross income' comprises of the following:

  • Annuity payments
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Workers' compensation
  • Potential income
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Commissions
  • Salary and wages
  • Income from self employment or business
  • Social security benefits given for a joint child on the basis of eligibility of the parents
  • Social security benefits that a parent receives on the basis of the eligibility of that parent
  • Disability and pension benefits
  • Naval and military retirement

Gross income never means the following:

  • The spousal maintenance that is disbursed
  • The child maintenance amount that is paid
  • Public assistance
  • Income of spouse
  • The child maintenance amount that is received
  • Most overtime earnings

Services provided by Child Support Agencies

Many parents may find it difficult while going through a child support case. In this context they can avail some services provided by these agencies. These services are:

  • Establishing parentage
  • Collecting and processing payments
  • Locating parents
  • Enforcing, reviewing and modifying court orders for support
  • Establishing orders for basic, medical and child care expenses
  • If one parent does not reside in Minnesota, then these agencies have to work with other states to enforce support.

If you want to know more about Minnesota child support guidelines, you can research about Chapter 518.17 and 518.6111 of the state statutes. Try to gather more information that are relevant in your case; thus you will be able to understand the conditions behind the justification of your court orders.

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