Child support is designed to make sure that both parents are contributing financially to their children’s care. It is so important to make sure that children’s needs are met, but it creates a lot of controversy because it is not always clear to people how the amount of child support is determined.

“Cooper Law can help you make sure that you are paying or receiving the appropriate amount of child support.”

In the State of Minnesota, the legislature has created a child support calculator to try to eliminate some of the controversy surrounding child support. The child support calculator automatically determines a standard amount of support a parent must pay, based off of a few specific factors:

1) Each party’s income. Each parent must be able to show what their typical pre-tax monthly income is from all sources. This amount is often disputed, but can be proven through pay stubs, tax records, and benefit statements. There may also be a possibility that a parent is capable of earning income that they are not currently earning. In that case, the parent may be credited with “potential income” for the purpose of calculating child support.

2) Parenting time percentages. The children may spend all of their time with one parent, or they may split the time between the parents. Take a look at your parenting time schedule with the other parent:

What percentage of their time do the children spend with each parent? The options in the calculator are a) Less than 10%, b) 10-45%, and c) 45.1-50%

3) Childcare costs. Are there any current costs for child care? If so, which parent pays for child care and how much on average per month?

4) Medical insurance costs. Which parent provides the medical and dental insurance for the children?

5) Number of joint children. The children that you have with the other party in a child support or custody dispute are called “joint” children. You should always be calculating the amount of support needed for the all of the children that you have with the other party.

6) Number of nonjoint children in the home. Parents often have the responsibility of supporting children who they do not share with the other party in a child support dispute. The child support calculator takes into account the number of other children who live in your home.

7) Amount of child support paid for other nonjoint children. Parents may also be paying child support already for other nonjoint children. The calculator also takes that amount into account. This amount can be verified through court orders or by contacting the county through which child support is paid for the other children.

If you know these numbers, you can experiment with the child support calculator yourself. Cooper Law can help you make sure that you are paying or receiving the appropriate amount of child support. Apply now using our online intake form and an attorney will contact you to discuss how we can assist you in your child support case.