One of the most contentious battles people can face in family court is one involving child support. Typically, these orders come on the heels of a breakup or after a divorce when emotions are running high and moms and dads may not like each other very much.
Parents who are on either side of a child support request can also be scared and angry because they typically don't know what to expect in court. The legal process can be intimidating and overwhelming which makes people uneasy and mistrustful. However, it may be of some comfort to know that while the child support process can be complicated, it is not arbitrary and there are guidelines in place.
Child support guidelines in Minnesota have been established to prioritize the needs of a child. Any ruling for support is intended to benefit the child and his or her best interests.
Courts will calculate child support based on a number of factors, including parenting time, income, needs of the child and any debt there may be. The court will then add up the combined income of both parents for child support, factor in custody arrangements and then establish the proportionate share of support that one parent will pay to the other.
Because these factors will be different for every couple, no two child support orders will look exactly the same. There are, of course, special circumstances that may warrant a deviation or support modification, but these should be explored on an individual basis.
This is a very general overview of the child support process in Minnesota. However, this information should hopefully provide readers with some relief in knowing that establishing child support is not without rhyme or reason. Family law attorneys understand this process and can help defend a parent's rights and work to pursue a fair resolution.