The Basics of Child Support in Minnesota

If you have children and are going through a divorce, a determination regarding child custody and child support must be made. Under Minnesota law, a child has the right to be financially supported by both parents. Child support is typically paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. Minnesota follows certain child support guidelines, which consider a variety of factors — including each parent’s gross income, the number of children involved and the cost of raising a child.

In Minnesota, child support is divided into three different parts:

  • Basic support. Basic financial support is used to pay for the expenses associated with the child’s basic needs, including food, clothing, shelter, transportation, education and other similar expenses.
  • Medical support. Medical support is the cost associated with contributing to the health and dental insurance of the minor child(ren), whether through private or public coverage. In addition to the medical support portion of the child support guidelines, both parents are generally required to contribute to the costs of the unreimbursed and uninsured medical expenses for the child(ren).
  • Child care support. Paying for child care or day care costs while a parent is at work or in school is a form of child support.

The court determines each parent's total child support payment by looking at the sum amount each parent contributes toward basic support, health care coverage and child care support obligations. It is important to note that buying gifts for a child, taking the child on vacations and paying other expenses directly rather than providing money to the other parent (such as paying rent directly to a landlord) does not count as child support.

If you are divorcing and you have children, it is imperative to obtain the advice and guidance of an experienced child support attorney. At Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., we fight for your child’s right to receive full and fair financial support from both parents.

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