Child Support

How is child support calculated?

There are three components to child support in Minnesota, basic, child care, and medical support. Basic child support payments cover the daily expenses of raising a child. Child care support reimburses one parent for the child care (daycare) costs paid by the other parent. Medical support reimburses one parent for the medical insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical bills incurred by the other parent. In order to properly calculate child support, the parties must provide accurate information such as monthly gross income, monthly child care expenses, medical premium costs for the child alone, child support paid for other children, whether or not one parent is on public assistance, and the number of non-joint children. Child support can be estimated using the online child support calculator.

Child support calculator

When can I modify my child support obligation?

Child support can be changed only by court order or based on cost-of-living adjustments. If your income, child care costs or medical insurance change, you may be able to modify your child support.

Generally, child support orders can be changed for the following reasons:

  • There is a substantial increase or decrease in either parent’s gross income.
  • There is a substantial increase or decrease in the needs of a parent or the child.
  • One of the parents or the child receives public assistance.
  • There is a change in the cost-of-living for either parent.
  • There are extraordinary medical expenses for the child.
  • There is a change in the availability of health care coverage or a substantial increase or decrease in health care coverage costs.
  • There is a substantial change in child care expenses.
  • The child turns 18 and is no longer in high school.

There may be other reasons or circumstances that warrant a change in child support, so please contact us to discuss your particular situation.

How is child support calculated if one party is self-employed or unemployed?

If a parent is not working, Minnesota law says that their potential income must be used in the child support calculation. Potential income can be based on the amount of money they made at their previous employment, 150% of minimum wage, or other various measures of the amount of money they could be making based on their education and work experience. If a parent is self-employed, calculating their income can be complicated, but generally their self-employment income is calculated by subtracting their monthly business expenses from their monthly gross receipts. However, just because an expense is tax deductible does not mean that it will be subtracted from their income for child support purposes so a careful analysis of what expenses are being deducted is necessary.

For More Information

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