Child support can be a 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 are 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.
Child Support FAQs
In many cases, child support is not meant to cover extracurricular activities. It also does not cover things like field trips or private school expenses. However, if your child is in an expensive extracurricular activity at the time of your divorce, you may be able to include which parent pays for it in your divorce agreement. Many parents choose to split the cost of the child’s activities 50-50.
Once you’ve been ordered to pay a certain amount in child support, that amount is due until paid. However, if you are just heading to court about child support now, the ordered payments will only include the child’s necessities in the two years following your court date, according to Minnesota statute 257.66. This means if you aren’t ordered to pay child support until your child is 13, you will only be held responsible for a portion of their expenses from age 11 to now – and into the future.
The length of a child support case in Minnesota will vary. However, federal law requires each state to have an expedited child support process for hearing certain types of child support cases. The expedited process has specific court rules and forms, and it tends to move quickly. If your only legal issue is child support, you may be able to use this expedited process.
Child support is calculated based on both parents’ income, the cost of the child’s medical and dental insurance, child care costs, the amount of parenting time with each parent, and other factors. The court uses these factors to inform its ultimate ruling, but there is no hard and fast rule about how much child support a parent will end up paying. A child support attorney will be able to estimate how much child support to which you’re entitled.
You aren’t required to have a lawyer for a child support hearing, but it is an important event that can have a lasting impact on your life. If you want to work with someone who has an understanding of the child support laws in Minnesota and will make the process easier for you, you should consider hiring a child support lawyer. Your lawyer will help you obtain the best possible outcome for you and your child.
You’ll have to prove your argument to win your child support case. If you’re working with a child support attorney, they will be able to help you gather the documents you need to be successful in court. A child support case can be straightforward or more complicated, but you’ll have to do your best to prove your financial situation either way. Ultimately the court will determine what’s in the best interest of the child, and that should be your goal, too. Don’t let anger overwhelm you during your case.
The best way to prepare for a child support modification hearing is to meet with a family law attorney to go over the details of your case. Your attorney will have had experience with child support modification and can give you an idea of how similar Minnesota child support cases have gone. They can also help you prepare all the documents you’ll need for your case.
You should know what kind of attorney you want to work with before you commit to one. Your family law attorney should be experienced, compassionate, and motivated to help you resolve your case. Ask prospective attorneys about their past child custody cases, and choose the attorney who makes you feel most comfortable and supported.
Child support is an extremely important issue for parents and children. Beth Barbosa knows this better than anyone due to her numerous years of work on child support cases in Minnesota. Beth has handled many particularly complex cases and is known for her ability to negotiate favorable outcomes and resolve high-tension issues with ease. If you’d like to work with a child support attorney who will work to ensure the least turbulent negotiation process possible, you should consider hiring Beth Barbosa to represent you in your child support case.