Q & A: What qualifies as child support in Minnesota?

Child support is money the non-custodial parent pays to help support the children. Buying gifts, food, or clothing for the children does not count as child support.

Each county has a child support enforcement unit which will help you establish and enforce a child support order at zero or minimal cost. You can to apply for these services at your county offices.

The court will order a reasonable amount of child support to be paid by the non-custodial parent. Minnesota law has guidelines that say how much support should be paid.

The court can also order either parent to pay medical insurance premiums or expenses and to pay part of child care costs.

The court considers the parent's income or ability to earn income and the number of children supported. Starting on January 1, 2007, the court considers the income or ability to earn income of both parents. This way of calculating child support is called Income Shares. It still looks at the number of children supported and either parent’s children from previous marriages or relationships.

The court will also look at:

  • The income, resources, and needs of both parents
  • The needs of the children
  • The standard of living the children would have if the parents had stayed together, and
  • The amount of time that the parent paying child support spends with the children.

Failure to pay child support is not a reason to limit parenting time.

Click here for more information on Child Support.