In Minnesota both parties have an obligation to provide financially for their children, which is loosely called child support. There are guidelines that delineate how to determine each parents financial responsibility. See Minnesota Statute §518A.26. The guidelines break down financial support into three catagories, basic support, medical support and child care support. The guidelines take into consideration the gross income of each party, the combined total and each party’s percentage of the combined total. The guidelines further identify a presumptive amount that it costs a family at the level of their combined income to provide for their child(ren). Each party is then expected to contribute their percentage of the combined total income to each of the three catagories of support.
The guidelines also take into consideration how much time each party spends with the children and the tax implications of the child care tax credit in establishing each party’s overall financial obligation for the children. The guidelines are presumed to be fair and applicable, but parents can determine for themselves what is in their children’s financial best interest and they can deviate from the guidelines. When parents deviate from the guidelines, they are required to provide the Court with an explanation as to how and why the deviation serves the children’s best interst.
The State provides assistance in determining guideline child support in the form of an online calculator. The Minnesota Child Support Calculator can be located at at the following link where you plug in requested information and “run the numbers”.
Figuring out the correct variables to plug into the child support calculator is often a little more complicated than meets the eye. As with so many things in family law, the implications from child support on the lives of parents, children and families can be important and far reaching. There is no substitute for getting good legal advice when determining child support. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to call for a free consultation.