Currently in Minnesota, child support is calculated using three categories of parenting time. Basic child support starts with the assumption that the non-custodial has less than 10% of parenting time. A parent with more than 10% parenting time receives a 12% discount on basic child support to account for their time with the child and the expenses associated with that time. However, this category is wide, encompassing 10-45% parenting time with a child. Therefore, a parent who is with their child every other weekend is in the same category as a parent who is with their child three overnights per week. The final category of parenting time for the purposes of child support calculation is between 45.1% and 50%. A parent whose court ordered parenting time is in this range will pay significantly less basic child support, or none at all.
The Minnesota legislature is now considering rounding out this middle category of parenting time for child support calculation purposes. Many divorce and custody cases are held up by the fact that even though both parents are spending significant amounts of time with the child, the parenting time is not equal and therefore, basic child support is calculated almost at the full rate. HF 2889/SF 3142 are drafted to ease this inequity.