St. Paul Attorneys Assisting in Child Support Matters

When divorcing couples have children, or when parents do not live together, child support must be determined along with custody and parenting time. At Bowden ♦ Cyr, PLLC in St. Paul, Minnesota, we help clients achieve fair support arrangements that appropriately account for children's needs and parents' capabilities.

Minnesota Child Support Law

Under Minnesota law, a child has the fundamental right to be financially supported by both parents, which may be enforced through court-ordered payments of child support. Support is most often sought by parents who are divorced or not living together, but may also be requested by a third-party, such as a grandparent who has custody of a child, or by a local county attorney's office if either parent receives public assistance for the child and they are not married or living together. Child support includes three parts:

  • Basic support - Basic support includes payments for the costs of a child's housing, food, clothing, transportation, education, and other expenses to care for the child.
  • Medical support - Medical support involves providing health and dental insurance, payments for the costs of health and dental insurance provided by the other parent, and payments for uninsured or unreimbursed medical and dental expenses
  • Child care support - Child care support includes payments for child care or day care costs when parents go to work or school.

Minnesota employs a method of calculating child support called "income shares" that uses the gross income of both parents, the number of children, the cost of raising a child at different income levels, and the availability and cost of medical support as guidelines.

The law presumes that both parents can or should work and earn income, which means courts may also consider "potential income" as a factor in determining child support. If one or both parents do not provide specific details about their income, a court will set support based on other available evidence, such as past work experience or testimony of the other parent, or it can set a minimum amount based on the current federal or state minimum wage.

The Impact of Custody, Parenting Time & Alimony on Child Support

Child custody and court-ordered parenting time are considered in calculating child support. Generally, the more time a child spends with a non-custodial parent, the less the parent will be required to pay in support, but when parenting time is less than 10 percent, there is no reduction in child support. In other parenting matters, if a mother or father establishes paternity of a child, a support order will likely be put in place. Alimony, or spousal maintenance, may also affect an order.

At Bowden ♦ Cyr, PLLC, we consider all family law issues simultaneously to ensure that our clients are in the best position possible coming out of divorce proceedings.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney in St. Paul

If you are facing divorce and have children, you will need an experienced family law attorney to explain and protect your rights in the areas of child custody and support. If you are considering family law attorneys in St. Paul, please contact Bowden ♦ Cyr, PLLC for a free initial consultation.