If you and your child’s other parent are splitting up, or were never in a relationship at all, you should know that one of you may be required to pay child support. Having some essential background on child support issues in Minnesota can help you make informed decisions as you navigate this issue.
Who pays support?
Generally, one parent will seek support from the other parent. In many cases, the parent seeking support is the primary care provider for the child. However, this is not always true. If you share parenting time and responsibilities, the higher earner will typically pay child support.
In some cases, parents must legally establish paternity in order to confirm obligations to pay support.
How much will it be?
People often jump to the conclusion that child support is a financial punishment. They think the amount represents how good of a parent they are or reflects personal shortcomings.
None of that is true.
Child support is for the benefit of your child. As such, calculations take into account specific financial information. To calculate support, courts will examine:
- Parental income
- Balance of parenting time
- Number of children needing support
- Child-related expenses
These numbers will affect support amounts; personal details typically do not affect orders.
If you or the other parent fails to pay child support, there will be consequences. Delinquency can trigger enforcement actions, including:
- Contempt proceedings
- Reporting to the credit bureaus
- Seizure of financial assets
- Drivers’ license suspension
- Recreational and occupational license suspension
- Interception of tax refunds
Child support offices can use these measures to ensure a parent complies with a court order. If a parent cannot pay, options like order modification and payment plans can be considered.
Pursuing fairness in support orders
Whether you wish to collect child support or are in a position to pay it, securing a fair order for child support can be complicated. Parents can work with their attorneys, mediators, and financial professionals to help them negotiate a fair agreement.
If this is not possible, petitioning the courts to make an order can be necessary.
Child support can be a thorny family legal issue. However, with help and information, parents can navigate this matter more easily.