Child support can be very tricky topic to navigate during a divorce. The court hopes to strike a balance so that the child or children’s material needs are being met while they are with either parent. This means going through the process of determining both parents’ income and then deciding how it can be fairly and reasonably allocated to the children and their needs. It is an overwhelming process, but with the assistance of a qualified family law attorney it will also be bearable.
What Is Child Support?
If you have never had to deal with paying or receiving child support prior to your divorce, it can be a complex topic to understand. Most people don’t know much about child support until they find themselves in a legal proceeding and are scrambling to learn more and find the best representation possible for their case. If you’re in this position, you’re not alone.
According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, every child has the right to support from both parents. Child support “benefits children by enforcing parental responsibility for their support.” It is meant to be used to meet the basic financial needs of the child and does not include any elective toys or activities. The following needs are meant to be covered partially by the child support of the non-custodial parent:
- Basic support – housing, food, clothing, and transportation
- Medical support – health and dental insurance, costs for unreimbursed medical and dental expenses
- Child care or daycare costs while parents are at work or school
To learn more about what child support covers and how to guarantee your children won’t end up with too much or too little child support, you can contact a family law attorney in Edina, MN like Beth Barbosa who can get you up to speed and help you develop an action plan to ensure fair child support.
How Is Child Support Determined?
Child support in Edina, Minnesota is based upon several factors which include the gross income of both parents, the cost of childcare, the cost to ensure the child with medical and dental coverage, the number of children, and the percentage of parenting time each parent is receiving. However, even if you have 50-50 physical custody or close to it, child support is generally still a factor due to the inevitability that the parents’ incomes will not be identical.
Once these factors have been determined, the court will come up with a child support amount in accordance with the Child Support Guidelines. However, the court may deviate from the child support guideline amount in certain situations. For example, if it can be proven that some of the child’s reasonable needs are not accounted for in the standard factors, the cost of child support can be increased.
The process of determining child support in Edina, Minnesota is complicated, and your best chance for understanding all these factors is to work with an experienced family law attorney who can explain all the different factors. Beth Barbosa has worked with many divorcing parents to explain the process of determining child support and establish what a reasonable payment may be.
Can Parents Determine Monthly Child Support Payments?
If you and your ex-spouse can work together to determine a reasonable child support payment amount and schedule, it is possible to do so informally without going to court. If you believe you and your ex are capable of peacefully creating such an agreement, your attorney can assist you with the logistical components. Generally, you will need to have them create a written settlement agreement or include your settlement terms in your divorce/dissolution agreement.
Child support in Edina, MN can be modified if there is a change of circumstances, like fluctuation in either parent’s income; a price increase for the child’s health expenses, childcare, or cost of living; or a change in the parenting time each party is actively involved in. However, it is important to promptly file for changes to child support because the court generally cannot change payments retroactively.
Whether you hope to negotiate child support peacefully or anticipate a difficult court case, you’ll be happy to have Beth Barbosa on your side. Contact her to learn more.