If you and your spouse have children together and plan to divorce, you may be curious about how the court will determine child support. Minnesota has established child support guidelines that account for the income of both parents and other variables. 

Review these guidelines so you know what to expect as you begin to negotiate a divorce agreement. 

Factors in the determination

When making a legal child support order, the judge will review the agreement you and your spouse made about parenting time. Other factors include child care expenses, medical expenses for the child, government benefits received by you, your spouse, or your child, whether you or your spouse has an existing alimony order, how many children you have, and how much both you and your spouse earn. 

The role of parenting time

If you and your spouse will share parenting time equally, the spouse who earns more money will generally pay child support to the other. If you both earn about the same amount, the court will not order child support unless you can prove that you do not share expenses equally with your coparent. In addition, if a parent has low income and more than 10% parenting time, the judge may decide to limit the support order to $50 per month for one child. 

The state will review your child support order for a cost of living adjustment every two years. In addition, you can request a modification if your child becomes emancipated, the cost of health care changes, your child develops special medical needs, your cost of living changes, your income significantly decreases or you begin to receive public assistance.