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How is child support calculated in Minnesota?

Both Minnesota parents are responsible for their child's upbringing. They are responsible to take care of the child, and provide finances to take care of the child's basic necessities, health and education. To ensure that no parent shies away from this responsibility, Minnesota courts order non-custodial parents to pay child support.

When the parents do not live together, the custodial parent can approach the court for a child support order. Similarly, a grandparent or any other person who has custody of the child can ask the court to order either of the parents or both of them to pay child support. The county attorney's office may also open a child custody case, if the unmarried parents are living together and one of the parents is receiving public assistance for the child.

While considering child support, the court will take into account the finances required for basic support, medical support and child care support. Gifts are not factored in as child support. While basic support includes food, clothing, housing, transportation and education. Child care support also includes day care costs. Medical support, as the term suggests, includes payments for health care and dental insurance costs and unreimbursed or uninsured dental and medical expenses.

In Minnesota, the Income Shares method is used to calculate child support. The number of children, income of both parents and cost of raising a child is considered in this calculation. Also, visitation time allotted to the parent can affect the child support amount. It should also be noted that the law presumes that parents should earn and calculate child support on this basis.

If any parent does not provide details of the income, any available evidence, including testimony of the other parent and past work experience, may be used to calculate child support. Sometimes, the court may also set a minimum amount that has to be paid by the parent and, in certain cases, the minimum amount set by the court may be 150 percent of the minimum wage.

Source: MNCourts.gov, "Basics on Child Support," accessed on Aug. 21, 2014

Source: MNCourts.gov, "Basics on Child Support," accessed on Aug. 21, 2014

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