When parents decide to divorce, the state makes sure that both individuals continue to support their children financially. Established in 2007, the Minnesota Child Support Guidelines provide basic calculations for child support amounts depending on both parents’ financial situation and other factors.

Before agreeing on child support with your former spouse, learn about the factors influencing child support in Minnesota.

Required information

 The court calculates child support by gathering relevant data:

  • Gross monthly income of both parents, including wages, spousal support, support for other children and all other income sources
  • The number of children in each household with no existing child support order
  • Existing child or spousal support orders currently active for either parent
  • Whether any of the children receive Social Security or Veterans Administration benefits
  • Child care, medical and dental costs on a monthly basis
  • Percentage of parenting time the court has granted each parent

The child support process

 As one of the parents, you can request child support services from your local Child Support Enforcement Division for a $25 fee. You can also petition the court for child support as part of your divorce petition. You can seek basic support, which covers food, shelter, education, clothing and related needs, as well as medical support and child care support for those expenses.

After submitting comprehensive information, the agency will create a child support order and notify both parents of the amount. CSED collects monthly payments to the parent ordered to pay support and distributes these payments to the other parent.

The agency also takes action when child support goes unpaid. These measures can include a warrant for contempt of court, negative credit reporting, bank levees, legal judgments, driver’s license suspension, passport denial and seizure of the person’s state tax refund.

 Even if you and your child’s other parent have agreed on a child support amount, seeking services through the state helps ensure that your financial partnership will continue until your child is an adult. You can also modify the amount if circumstances change.