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Child support is the financial contribution a non-custodial parent makes to the custodial parent as a way to help cover the expenses of raising his or her children. Unfortunately, this aspect of divorce has the potential to become particularly complex, especially when emotions flare.
What does child support cover?
Child support in Minnesota is divided into three categories: basic support, medical support, and child care support. Generally speaking, basic support covers the costs associated with housing, food, clothing, transportation, education and other expenses related to the child’s basic needs. Medical support includes the cost of health and dental insurance. Child care support refers to the costs either parent incurs for work- or education-related child care. In many instances, child support does not cover extracurricular activities such as sports and music lessons. However, if specific expenses exist, payment for these can be allocated in the divorce agreement.
How is the amount of child support determined?
The amount of child support owed by the non-custodial parent is calculated based on a number of factors that can vary from state to state. In Minnesota, for instance, child support is based on the following:
- The number of children the parents have
- The number of children from another relationship (i.e., non-joint children)
- Whether a parent is ordered to pay spousal maintenance
- The cost of health and dental care coverage for the benefit of the children, and which parent covers it
- The percentage of parenting time each parent has with the children
Find the right arrangement.
Although the amount of child support is based on a number of set factors, it can be negotiated. The method in which support is paid can be stipulated in the divorce agreement, too. With decades of experience in helping families overcome the challenges of divorce, we can help you determine which child support arrangement works best for you. As your attorney, we work to make the process as painless as possible while diligently protecting your best interests.