If you are going through a divorce or separation from your child’s other parent, child support is probably something you’ve thought about. Child support can play an important role in ensuring your child is well-cared for. It can also play a role in your financial stability.
In Minnesota, children have the right to be supported by both of their parents. There are several factors that contribute to a final child support decision. In this post, we’ll discuss what those factors are, so you have some idea of what to expect when you begin negotiating your child support payments.
The basics of child support
When determining child support, three main factors are considered:
- Basic needs of the child, including food, clothes, housing, school, transportation and other costs
- Child care expenses, such as day care
- Medical costs, including dental and health insurance and other medical-related expenses
In addition to these three main aspects of child support, your income, the income of your child’s other parent, and how many children need to be supported will also be considered.
How parenting time affects child support
In addition to income and the needs of the child, parenting time is also factored into a final child support order. Parenting time is determined based on how often the child spends the night with each parent. The parent who has the child for less time will be the one required to pay child support.
When a parent has the child for less than 10 percent of the time, the basic child support calculation will be used to determine a final order. However, if the child lives with that parent between 10 and 45 percent of the time, the initial child support calculation will be reduced by approximately 12 percent.
In short, the more time a child spends with the paying parent, the lower the child support payments will likely be.
How to protect yourself and your child
Whether you expect to pay child support or receive it, it is important to ensure that your rights and those of your child are protected through the calculation process. One way to do this is to have an experienced lawyer on your side. An experienced lawyer will not only understand the laws and how they apply to you, but they will also know how to work within the system to achieve an outcome that is best for you and your child.