Child support is a court-ordered payment that is designed to provide financial assistance to children born of a relationship. In Minnesota, both parents are required to provide financial support to their children. Although courts normally order one parent to pay child support to another, it is possible that a grandparent raising a child could be awarded support from one or both parents as well. It is important to understand what factors are used in determining how much support is awarded and which parent should receive the support.
Three parts involved
There are three parts to child support under family law. Basic support covers the child’s housing, food, education, clothing, and other basic expenses every child will need. Medical support includes items like health, dental and vision insurance as well as costs for uninsured expenses. Childcare support covers the cost of daycare when the parents must work. It is important to note that gifts and money given to the child directly are not considered child support.
The method used to calculate support is called “Income Shares.” The court uses both parents’ income, how many children must be supported, and the cost of raising a child based on income levels. Deductions are made for child support payments made to children from other relationships as well. This amount is used to determine basic support for the children. Medical support is determined by reviewing the available insurance options for the children. The court determines the cost of premiums and how they are divided between parents as well as costs that may not be covered by insurance. Childcare support is determined using a similar method.
Another factor used in determining child support is the parenting time each parent has with the children. This is determined by looking at the number of overnights a child spends with each parent throughout the year based on their court order. The more time you spend with your child, the lower your child support obligation will be. Family law allows you to count all overnights during the year, including regular visitation, holidays, vacation times, and more when determining support.
Child support can be very complicated, and it is important to discuss your rights under the law with an attorney.