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Child Support – Guidelines
When setting a support obligation, the court considers Minnesota child support guidelines. The guidelines are a formula used to calculate support obligations. They are reviewed every four years and they help determine support amounts using the:
Minnesota’s guidelines use a formula based on each parent’s monthly gross income to calculate basic support. Gross monthly income is income before tax and certain other deductions. Examples of gross monthly income include:
Gross income does not include:
Minnesota’s law allows a deduction from a parent’s monthly gross income for a maximum of two nonjoint children in the parent's home.
Minnesota guidelines use Parental Income for Determining Child Support (PICS) in a basic support table to set the combined basic support obligation.
The basic support amount is determined by using the combined PICS of the parents and finding the corresponding income bracket in the basic support guideline table in Minnesota Statutes, section 518A.35.
A percentage is calculated for each parent’s share of the PICS. The obligor’s percentage of the combined PICS is multiplied by the combined basic support amount. This amount is the obligor’s basic support obligation.
If a court orders parenting time to the obligor of ten percent (10%) or more; the obligor may receive a deduction from basic support. The amount of the deduction is based on the percentage of court-ordered parenting time.
Basic Support is for the child’s expenses such as food, clothing, and transportation. Basic support does not include payments on arrears.
An obligor needs money to support him or herself. The guidelines subtract from the obligor’s income 120 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for one person to allow the obligor to have money for self support.
After subtracting the money for self-support, if the obligor’s income is less than the guidelines for basic support; then the amount of basic support will equal the obligor’s income available for support.
If the court finds that the obligor has no ability to earn income, the court will not order the minimum basic support.
Medical support is providing for or contributing to health care coverage for a child. Under the guidelines for calculating child support, it is possible for both parents to have an obligation. Some custodial parents may owe medical support. If a custodial parent has a medical support obligation, the guidelines subtracts that amount from the amount that the noncustodial parent owes for child support.
Child care support is based on each parent’s share of their combined PICS. Child care support helps pay for work- or school-related child care.
A court may order changes in a support order. If your income, expenses or other circumstances change, you may be eligible to have your order modified.
You can estimate the amount of child support that may be ordered on a case using the Child Support Guidelines Calculator. The estimate is informational only. The court has the authority to order child support. The calculator is a tool you can use to estimate a basic support amount for six or fewer children.
If you have any questions about your child support order, contact your county child support worker or an attorney.
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