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What information does the Minnesota child support calculator use?

The complex nature of a divorce and the natural ups and downs of the process can make it challenging on parents to meet all the needs of their children. Even though divorcing parents are working on a post-divorce plan that will allow them to transition to a two-home family, finances are often a focal point in this process. In order to meet the financial need of the children, a parent might request child support.

What information does the Minnesota child support calculator use? In order to determine what support obligations will be placed on a parent, certain details about each parent are considered. In Minnesota, this includes looking at the income of both parents, any obligations of each parent and any benefits that could adjustment the support obligation.

With regards to income, this could be the monthly income each parent receives, benefits derived from veterans' benefits or Social Security, potential income, which addresses situations where a parent is voluntarily unemployed, underemployed or employed on a less than full-time basis, spousal support obligations, child support order obligations already in effect and the monthly gross income of each parent.

Factors used to adjust support obligations include the number of non-joint children and deductions made for non-joint children in the home. With regards to obligations that play a role in the calculation of child support, these include medical support, health care coverage, dental coverage, childcare support and medical support obligations.

Even after a final amount in computed, the guidelines allow for a parent to calculate the ability to pay this support obligation. If this amount is problematic, it is possible to make adjustments. Additionally, divorcing parents could also seek a basic support order, which could be more affordable for a parent with little means to provide much child support.

Navigating though the child support decision-making process can be difficult. Therefore, it is important that parents take the time to understand what steps they can take to resolve these matters and protect their rights and interests in the situation.

Source: Minnesota Department of Human Services, "Instructions for Computing Child Support," accessed April 9, 2017

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