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Calculating child support in a Minnesota divorce

When parents choose to file for divorce in Minnesota, they must attend to a host of issues regarding the children involved in the marriage. One of the most important may be that of child custody and child support. States may adopt different models of calculating child support based on the parents’ income, time spent with the child and several other factors. Minnesota uses an income shares model of calculating child support, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. This is built off the belief that children should have the same financial support that they would have had if their parents would have stayed married.

Using this model, the child support is calculated off of both parents’ income, rather than just the non-custodial parents’ income like in some other states. Once this figure is determined, a percentage of the parents’ combined income is set as child support. Minnesota has a child support guideline chart that indicates the amount of base child support due, taking into consideration the number of children, as well as the parents’ gross income.

In many cases, however, this is not the final child support amount. Other factors may be added into the total, such as medical expenses, educational costs, child care and extracurricular activities. For example, the non-custodial parent may be asked to pay half of the medical copays, school costs and daycare. Travel expenses spent to transfer the child from one parent to the other may also be included in the amount. Child support can be modified if there is a change in circumstances, such as a job loss or sudden change in income.

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