Child Support

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Looking for a Minnesota child support attorney, or have questions about child support in Minnesota?  You have come to the right place.  Start here with answers to the questions our child support attorneys are most frequently asked, and if you still have questions when you are done, call or email us for an initial consult.

How is child support calculated in Minnesota?

Child SupportCurrently, a parent with whom a child primarily resides receives child support from the other parent based upon guidelines set forth in Minnesota law that consider the parents’ respective incomes. The court can set child support in accord with the guidelines, or exercise discretion to deviate upwards or downwards from the guidelines. If the parties share physical custody of the child – i.e., if the child’s residence is roughly equal time in each parent’s home – the guideline child support is likely to be lower, to reflect the fact that each parent is directly paying some of the child’s expenses during the times the child is residing with each parent. There was a change in child support law that came into effect in January 2007. The previous law had guidelines that mainly considered only the paying parent’s income, rather than both parents’ incomes. Some pre-existing child support cases are still governed by the old law.

If you would like to get some idea of what child support you might be entitled to, you can make use of the child support calculator provided by the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Child Support Daycare CostsAre day care costs included in the child support I pay or receive?

Typically, day care costs are calculated separately.  In most cases, the child care costs are allocated between the parents in proportion to their respective incomes.  Before allocating the expense between the parents, the day care costs are reduced by estimated state and federal tax credits, so that only the net, after-tax child care costs are included in the calculation.

What about health insurance and health expenses?

Typically, the health insurance and health expense costs are handled separately from base child support.  The expense of the child’s health insurance premium is allocated between the parents, as are the uninsured medical, dental, orthodontic, optical and mental health expenses.

What is a child support magistrate?

A child support magistrate is a judicial officer who handles only child support cases.  In all Minnesota judicial districts, most hearings that involve only child support issues (as opposed to hearings that also involve child custody, parenting, or property issues) will be heard by a child support magistrate.  If the hearing involves other issues, the matter will be heard by the family court judge (or, in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, a family court judge or referee).