CHILD SUPPORT 

Child support is court ordered payments for the financial support of a child.  In Minnesota, a child has the right to be financially supported by both parents.  If the parents do not live together, they can go to court and ask for an order establishing a set amount of child support.  If the child lives with someone other than their parent, such as a grandparent, that person can also ask thecourt to order one or both parents to pay child support to that person.Child support includes three parts: basic support, medical support, and child care support.   Basic support includes payments for such expenses as housing, food, clothing, and education.  Medical support includes payments for such items as health and dental insurance, and unreimbursed medical and dental expenses.  Child care support includes payments for child care costs when parents attend school or work, such as daycare.

Following a divorce, or when unmarried parties have a child together, the court may award one of the parents child custody, which includes the care, control, and maintenance of a child. Custody and parenting time can become an issue when married parents are seeking a dissolution of marriage, in a court action for paternity and/or domestic abuse, when a child lives with a third party and is cared for by that third party (such as a grandparent), or if a child is involved in a “child inneed of protective services” (CHIPS) proceeding or a juvenile delinquency case

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CHILD SUPPORT & CHILD CUSTODY FAQ

 

I HAVE A HEARING BEFORE A CHILD SUPPORT MAGISTRATE.  CAN THEY ORDER PARENTING TIME?

No.
A child support magistrate, though still acting as a judge, has limited authority, in that they are able to set child support and other support terms, but cannot order parenting time or custody unless the parties have an agreement.  A party has to file for custody and/or parenting time issues in District Court.

I’M ASKING MY SPOUSE FOR CHILD SUPPORT; HOW IS IT DETERMINED?

Minnesota has guidelines to determine child support.
Minnesota has guidelines that the court must follow when determining child support.  The child support is based upon the incomes of both parents and the needs of the children under the guidelines established by the State.  Child support includes basic support, medical support, and child care support.  Basic support includes the costs for a child’s housing, food, clothing, transportation, education, and other expenses.  Medical support includes health and dental insurance costs, or uninsured or unreimbursed medical and dental expenses.  Child care support includes payments for child care costs when parents are working or attending school.

DO I GET AN REDUCTION IN CHILD SUPPORT IF MY SPOUSE HAS CUSTODY OF THE CHILD?

Parenting time is considered in calculating child support.
The amount of parenting time is considered in calculating basic support.  Parents get a certain adjustment based on the amount of time they have the child.  Percentage of time is generally based on the number of overnights the child spends with the parent.

MY SPOUSE DOESN’T HAVE A JOB; WILL THEY STILL OWE CHILD SUPPORT?

There is a presumption that both parents can or should work.
In Minnesota, there is a presumption that both parents can or should work.  Potential income is a factor in determinIng support.

I PAY CHILD SUPPORT FOR MY TEENAGER; DO I QUIT PAYING WHEN SHE TURNS 18?

Child support does not necessarily end when the child turns 18.
In Minnesota, your obligation to pay child support automatically ends when the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever date is later.  However, child support typically won’t continue past the age of 20 even if the child is still in high school.

I PAY MY EX-SPOUSE CHILD SUPPORT.  HOWEVER, WHEN IT WAS CALCULATED, I WAS EMPLOYED.  I LOST MY JOB 
AND CAN’T FIND A NEW ONE.  CAN I GET MY CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGATION REDUCED?

Child support obligations can be modified.
The court may change a child support order if any of the following occur: there is a substantial change (either increase or decrease) in either parent’s gross income, there is a substantial increase or decrease in the needs of a parent or child, one of the parents or children receives public assistance, there is a change in the cost-of-living for either parent, or there are extraordinary medical expenses for the child.  However, imputed income may be a factor in the case of unemployment. 

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