Child Support in Minnesota
-by Eric C. Nelson, Attorney

Due to changes in the law, child support in Minnesota no longer depends on the custody label or on net income. Child support is almost always determined in accordance with the Minnesota Child Support Guidelines. Although deviations from the Guidelines are allowed, it is a rare occurrence unless the parties agree, and even in that case the Court will not necessarily allow it, particularly when public assistance is involved. Child support pursuant to the Guidelines is based on the following factors:

  1. The gross income of both parties.
  2. The cost of work and education related child care.
  3. The children's portion of the cost of medical and dental insurance.
  4. The number of non-joint children of each party (entitles you to a discount).
  5. Each party's percentage of parenting time (<10% means you get no discount; 10% to 45% means you get a small discount; 45.1% to 54.9% means parenting time is deemed equal, and you normally wouldn't pay child support unless you make significantly more than the other party, or the other party is paying more of the medical insurance or child care costs; 55%+ means the other parent pays you child support).

Calculations of child support under the Minnesota Guidelines are very complicated. A good way to get an idea of how it would compute in your situation is to type your data into this very user-friendly
Minnesota Child Support Calculator.

Child support may be modified any time their is a substantial change of circumstances, which in practice usually means a substantial increase or decrease in either party's income, or a change in parenting time, or a change in child care costs. Should this occur, it is very important to serve and file a motion to modify child support immediately, because the general rule is that the Court cannot modify child support retroactive to the date of service of your motion. [1]

[1]
Minnesota Statute section 518A.39, Subdivision 2(e).