What Exactly is Child Support in Minneapolis, Minnesota?
Child support is a court-ordered monthly payment that a parent is required to make in order to help the other parent cover the costs of raising their child. Both parents must be held financially responsible for the child they created. The parent who has been awarded primary physical custody is usually the one ordered to receive child support payments and the parent who has less parenting time is usually the one ordered to make payments.
Generally speaking, parents are required to continue to pay child support until the child turns 18. However, there can be exceptions. If a child becomes emancipated, marries with parental consent, or enlists in the military, custodial rights of the parent are severed and child support is no longer required. On the other hand, if a child is disabled or is still attending high school, a parent may be required to continue to make support payments past the age of 18. If you question whether you should be required to continue making child support payments, your first step should be to contact an experienced child support attorney in Minneapolis, MN.
How is Child Support Decided in Minnesota?
The amount of the child support payments ordered by the court will depend on the calculations of the standard Minnesota child support guidelines. This guide is based upon both parents’ incomes and the number of children involved who need to be supported. There is flexibility allowed in order to account for each child’s needs, each parent’s ability to provide monetary support, specific custody arrangement details, and the children’s best interests.
The child support guidelines provide a simple fee schedule but the judge holds the discretion to deviate from those guidelines if he or she finds that it is in the children’s best interest while considering factors including:
- The financial circumstances of each parent.
- The financial needs of each child.
- The standard of living that the child is accustomed to.
- Which parent benefits from claiming the child as a dependent.
Parents may also be entitled to deviations from the guidelines based on expenses they already cover, such as childcare payments or health insurance. The best resource to prepare you for child support calculations is a knowledgeable child support attorney in Minneapolis, MN.
Can the Amount of Child Support Ordered Ever Be Changed?
An order for child support is not immune to modification. You may ask the judge to change a child support order if you can show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the order was created. A substantial change in circumstances would include a significant increase or decrease in either parent’s income, or in the child’s medical or educational needs. In cases where the parents or the children receive public assistance, a modification can be sought any time there is a change in the cost of living, extraordinary medical expenses develop, or there are additional work or education-related childcare expenses.
How Can I Enforce a Child Support Order in Minnesota?
Obtaining a child support order from a judge, unfortunately, is only half the battle for many parents. If your child’s other parent refuses to financially support their child by complying with court-ordered child support payments, collecting the money that they legally owe you is no easy task. Your best bet is to seek out a qualified child support attorney in Minneapolis, MN to represent your interests and assist you in locating or notifying the parent who is required to make support payments.
Your child support order may spell out how child support payments are required to be made. Often, this includes a wage garnishment order, which means that the paying parent’s employer will automatically withhold the amount of child support owed from each paycheck and forward it to the court or the other parent. However, if your order is not specific as to the method of payment, then child support payments can be made via nearly any possible avenue, including cash, check, direct deposit, bank transfer, or even through online payment applications such as PayPal.
Is a Minneapolis Child Support Attorney Necessary in My Case?
Even if you have been able to come to an agreement on child support by negotiating directly with your child’s other parent, it is in your best interest to have that agreement reviewed by a child support attorney in Minneapolis, MN before attempting to get it approved by a judge. Your Minneapolis child support attorney can ensure that your child support agreement is not only compliant with Minnesota law, but is also fair to you. If you are facing child support calculation based solely upon the Minnesota child support guidelines, a child support attorney in Minneapolis, MN can help you identify whether there are any factors present that would support a deviation in your favor.
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