Too often, people see child support as nothing more than a financial burden on a parent. However, child support is essential to the well-being and care of a child, and it serves as a means of ensuring that both parents contribute to child’s life.
Considering how critical this financial contribution is, it is important for parents to understand some of the general guidelines for a child support order in Minnesota.
Start with the basics
Basic support amounts can be calculated using state guidelines. These guidelines factor in combined parental monthly income and the number of children for whom support is being paid, as well as the balance of parenting time. The basic support amount is then divided in proportion to each parent’s share of the monthly income.
You (or the courts) can make exceptions and changes to the basic support guidelines in some situations. For instance, you and the other parent might agree outside of court to support amounts that do not align with the guidelines. Or, your child might have need for additional support due to disability. These and other circumstances can warrant a higher or lower amount of support than what the guidelines dictate.
Over time, things change. Your child’s needs changes, your financial resources can change and your family obligations can change. If these changes are substantial or extraordinary, then you may be able to secure a modification of a support order.
Know your legal options and rights
Barring any extenuating circumstances or loss of parental status, these orders will be in place at least until your child turns 18. In other words, it is important that you take these orders seriously, whether you are negotiating amounts in mediation, asking the courts to enforce an order or requesting a modification.
In any case involving child support, it is important for parents to have legal guidance. Without the help of an attorney, parents can make costly missteps and assumptions that have financial and legal repercussions. To avoid these, you can consult an attorney about any question or concern you have with regard to paying or receiving child support.