In Minnesota, child support is on a mathematical grid that factors in each parent’s income and the parenting schedule. That mathematical grid actually results in a statutory calculation of child support in the amount of zero when (a) parenting time is equal; and (b) the parents’ income are equal. Minn. Stat. § 518A.36, subd. 3.
What if parenting time is equal, and the parents’ incomes are almost equal? The more disparate the incomes, the higher the child support. The closer the incomes, the closer to zero.
It is worth bearing in mind that this pertains only to basic child support. There still may be the need to settle up on the parents’ respective contributions to health insurance. So in many cases in which the parents’ incomes are almost equal – but not equal – and the higher earning parent is also covering the children’s health insurance, it can be agreed upon as a wash.
That is, the lower-income parent owes some medical support to the other parent, but the higher-income parent owes some basic support to the other parent. The two figures will offset each other, and it may result in a small enough difference to just agree on canceling out each parent’s respective obligation.