Putting Your Children’s Future First

At Oney + Kim Family Law, PLLC, we understand that your children’s well-being is your top priority. Navigating the complexities of child support can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to face it alone. Our compassionate and experienced team of attorneys is here to provide you with the support and guidance you need to secure a stable future for your children.

Child support plays a vital role in ensuring the well-being and proper upbringing of children whose parents are separated or divorced. In Minnesota, as in many other states, child support guidelines have been established to provide a fair and consistent approach to calculating child support obligations. These guidelines take into account various factors to determine the financial responsibility of each parent, ultimately aiming to prioritize the children’s needs and maintain a stable standard of living for each parent.

What is Minnesota Guideline Child Support?

 Minnesota Guideline Child Support is a set of statutory guidelines that the state follows to calculate child support payments. The guidelines are outlined in Minnesota Statutes section 518A, and they aim to establish a fair and consistent standard of support that considers the income of both parents and the needs of the child or children involved.

Calculating Child Support

 The calculation of child support in Minnesota is primarily based on the combined income of both parents and the number of children needing support. The court uses the “Income Shares” model, which considers the financial contributions both parents would have made if they were living together as an intact family.

The process starts by determining the gross income of each parent, which includes salaries, wages, bonuses, tips, self-employment income, and other sources of income. Certain deductions, such as taxes and pre-existing child support orders for other children, are subtracted from the gross income to arrive at the net income.

Next, the court calculates the basic support obligation by referring to the state’s child support guidelines table. This table provides a predetermined amount based on the combined net income of both parents and the number of children requiring support.

Deviation from Guidelines

While the Minnesota guideline child support calculations are generally followed, there are situations where the court may deviate from the guidelines. Deviation from the presumptive child support obligation computed under section are intended to encourage prompt and regular payments of child support and to prevent either parent or the joint children from living in poverty. Some factors that can lead to deviation include:

  1. Parental Debts: Under certain circumstances, the court may consider a parent’s debt if the debt was reasonably incurred for necessary support of the child or parent or the necessary generation of income.
  2. Child’s Special Needs: If the child has extraordinary medical, educational, or other special needs, the court may deviate from the guidelines to accommodate these additional expenses.
  3. High-Income Situations: In cases where one or both parents have a high income, the court may deviate from the guidelines to address the unique circumstances of such cases.

Modification of Child Support

Child support orders can be modified when there is a substantial change in circumstances. Examples of qualifying changes include significant income changes, changes in the child’s needs, or changes in parenting time arrangements. Either parent can request a modification, and it must be approved by the court.

Our Child Support Services

  1. Establishing Child Support: If you need assistance in establishing child support, our attorneys will meticulously assess both parents’ financial situations and ensure that the support arrangement aligns with your children’s needs and the state guidelines.
  2. Modifying Child Support: Life circumstances change, and child support orders may need adjustments over time. Whether you’ve experienced a significant change in income or your child’s needs have evolved, our team can guide you through the process of modifying child support.
  3. Paternity Matters: Establishing paternity is crucial for determining child support responsibilities. Our attorneys can assist unmarried parents in legally establishing paternity and ensuring that both parents fulfill their obligations.

Frequently Asked Questions about Minnesota Child Support

At NAPNAME, we understand that this is a difficult time, and you may have a lot of questions. Here are some of the ones we hear most often:

Can a third party request child support payments?

Yes, third parties and custodians, including grandparents, have the right to receive child support. Our experienced lawyers can help you request that a child’s parents pay you child support if you are a third party or custodian.

How does joint custody or shared parenting time affect child support payments?

Child support is determined by both parents’ gross monthly income, including salary, wages, bonuses and expenses such as educational and medical needs for a child with special needs. Child support may still be given to a parent even if they have joint custody or shared parenting time. However, a judge will consider how much time each parent spends with their children, which can contribute to how much money each parent spends on their children. The less time a parent spends with their children, the more they might have to contribute to child support.

Can issues of custody and parenting time be addressed before a magistrate?

A judge is a public official regarded as one of the highest levels of authority in court who presides over trials, interprets laws and issues legal rulings. A magistrate is an employee of a judge. They help process a large number of family law and domestic cases, but they do not have the authority to sign court orders. Our child custody lawyers can help you build a case detailing all of your needs for when you attend a hearing before a child custody magistrate.

When does a child support obligation end in Minnesota?

Child support ends when a child turns 18 years of age. However, there are some reasons to extend child support. For example, child support may still be given if a child is still in high school at 18 years of age but no older than 20 years of age. Child support may be continued if a child has special needs.

Take the First Step Toward Your Children’s Future

 At Oney + Kim Family Law, PLLC, we know that providing for your children is a fundamental responsibility and can sometimes be challenging without proper legal support. Let us take the burden off your shoulders and work tirelessly to secure the best possible future for your children.

Contact us today at 612-279-8655 to schedule a free confidential consultation, or reach out via email. Together, we will focus on your children’s well-being and build a strong foundation for their future. Our compassionate team is here to guide you every step of the way.