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How child support is calculated in Minnesota

Noncustodial Minnesota parents are often required to pay child support to their youngsters' other parent. This process can be somewhat confusing, as noncustodial parents may not entirely understand the way that child support is calculated in the state. Experts say Minnesota law provides for three specific types of support.

These three kinds of support include basic, medical and child care support. Basic support is generally the fundamental amount required to meet the child's needs; this is also the most common form of child support. Medical support requires noncustodial parents to pay for medical and dental costs for their children. This can also involve reimbursing state programs that provide basic medical services for low--income groups. Finally, child care support requires the noncustodial parent to provide funds for child care services that allow the other parent to work or attend school.

Child support is calculated based on two factors: the gross income of each parent and the number of children requiring support. Deductions from gross income are provided for parents that are paying for other kids that are not a result of the other parent's union; these youngsters are known as nonjoint children. After the gross income of both parties is determined, their contribution to the children's welfare can be calculated.

Take, for example, a couple in which the mother earns $3,000 each month and the father $2,000 -- mom makes 60 percent of the couple's joint income, while dad earns 40 percent. As a result, if the children live with the mother, the father will be required to pay for 40 percent of the cost of raising the children. Assuming there are two kids, the father would be responsible for 40 percent of the $1,260 required to rear the children each month.

Other special custody circumstances can change the fundamental calculations for child support. If you have questions about the accuracy of your child support calculation, you should contact a qualified family attorney to examine your legal options.

Source: Echo Press, "From the bench: How basic child support is calculated in Minnesota," Michelle Lawson, April 3, 2013

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