The new Minnesota child support law that came into effect in January 2007 has helped to improve the dynamics between divorced, separated and unmarried parents. In the past, a parent in the midst of a dispute with the other parents about visitation or parenting time might not want to agree to the other parent having more parenting time, because that might result in a lower amount of child support paid by the visiting parent. Conversely, a parent in the midst of a child support dispute might insist on having more parenting time for the sake of paying lower child support.
The new law encourages parents to keep separate the issues of the parenting schedule and the money. Under the new law, there is no distinction in the child support obligation between a parent who sees the child(ren) eleven percent (11%) of the time and one who sees the child forty-four percent (44%) of the time. Such a parent is given a break on their child support to reflect the time that the child is in that parent’s care.
If a parent sees the child less than ten percent (10%) of the time, there is no such reduction. And if the parent sees the child more than forty-five percent (45%) of the time, both parents pay day-to-day expenses of the children, and a smaller amount of child support is transferred between the parents.
Relatively few children have parents arguing about which kind of parenting schedule applies, i.e., whether it is 10%-or-less; 45%-or-more; or between 10% and 45%. Consequently, fewer children suffer the conflict that results when parents squabble over "money for parenting time."