MN Child Support Questions

Frequently Asked MN Child Support Questions

Q: How is child support calculated?

A: A child support obligation is calculated according to Minnesota Child Support Guidelines under Minn. Stat. §518A by determining each parent’s gross monthly income (before any deductions).  There are other factors that are used to calculate child support as well; such as:

  • If a parent has a child from another relationship living in their home.
  • If a parent is already paying court ordered child support for another child.
  • If a parent is or will be paying spousal maintenance.
  • The amount of court ordered overnight parenting time.
  • The costs of daycare, health and dental care coverage that is incurred by either parent.

It is important that the process of analyzing parties’ incomes and calculating child support obligations be done correctly.  This is why we always recommend that parties hire an attorney who is experienced in the area of family law to represent them in these types of matters.

It is presumed in Minnesota that the Court should adopt the guideline child support calculations.  However, there are some circumstances in which a deviation from the guidelines is appropriate.  Our family law attorneys can advise you as to whether a deviation from the guidelines may be appropriate in your case.

Q: Can my child support obligation be modified if I lose my job?

A: In most cases, yes.  However, the child support office will not automatically change your child support obligation unless you file a motion to modify child support, which is generally addressed before a Child Support Magistrate in the Expedited Child Support Process.  It is a common mistake for parties to procrastinate, which can result in child support arrears.  The Court generally does not retroactively modify child support obligations.  Therefore, it is very important to contact an attorney immediately to discuss your options in these circumstances.