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Calculating child support in Minnesota: part two

In our post last week we discussed some of the basic laws governing child support in Minnesota, focusing on the three different types of child support: basic support, medical support and child care support. All of these are meant to help ensure that both parents take responsibility for the financial support and care of their child, when possible.

Minnesota state law provides guidelines and regulations for determining what kind and what amount of child support is appropriate in cases of divorce involving children. While it may seem like a complicated process, it is usually quite straightforward.

In order to determine child support, courts begin with the gross income of each parent and the number of children to be support. If one or both parents have children who will not be covered because they are not common to both parties, there is a deduction to the responsible parent's income. Then both parents' incomes are added together.

The percentage that each parent contributes to that total is applied to the cost of raising a child. For example, if the child's noncustodial father earns 60 percent of the total and the custodial mother earns 40 percent, the father will be responsible of 60 percent of the monthly cost of raising the child.

In some cases it may be possible to seek a modification of your child support order. If you experience a change in your financial situation, such as losing your job or having another child, it may be appropriate to ask the court to review and modify your order. In such a situation it may be wise to speak with an experienced family law attorney.

Source: The Alexandria Echo Press, "How basic child support is calculated in Minnesota," Michelle Lawson, April 3, 2013

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