Beginning August 1, 2018, Minnesota will have an entirely new way of calculating child support. This 2018 child support law is not the first time Minnesota has undergone a major change – in 2007, the same thing happened when new child support laws were enacted in 2007, which are still in effect today. Be aware that the changes in this law don’t create the opportunity to modify an existing child support order on its own. You’ll still need to meet the standard to modify, meaning there must be enough of a change in You’ll need a greater reason to bring a motion for child support modification.
Let’s look over how changes in the 2018 child support law differ from the 2007 child support law, and get a sneak peek at the newest calculator to help you predict the effects on your monthly budget.
If you have questions concerning child support, get in touch with a lawyer who knows child support and family law like Jennifer Nixon.
Current 2007 Child Support Law
Under current laws, child support is calculated through an “income shares” model. Both parents’ incomes are added together to generate a “total parental income” for child support. This was meant to make sure children are in the same financial situation they would’ve been if the parents were together. Each parent then pays a percentage of their income.
Parenting expense adjustments made this law a bit more complicated to calculate. Parenting time is separated into large blocks, resembling cliffs in a graphic form. Right now, the categories include parenting time that is less than 10% of the time, 10-45% of the time, or 45.1-50% of the time, which is generally based on overnights. Because of the large gaps or cliffs, child support obligations could vary wildly across a wide range of parenting arrangements.
Child Support Law Taking Effect Aug. 1, 2018
Because of the “Cliff Effect” issues, the Minnesota State Legislature set up a task force to come up with new laws a few years ago. While still based on “income shares”, the “Cliff Effect” is mostly mitigated with the new 2018 child support laws.
The new formula has more gradual changes based on parenting time, rather than the large cliffs. This is hoped to result in less fighting over days with children for child support math reasons. Also, there is a huge change in one area of the law: if a parent has more than 55% of parenting time, that parent’s child support obligation will be set at $0.
New Calculator Available Now
As of June 1, 2018, the Minnesota Department of Human Services child support calculator now incorporates the new 2018 child support law. Use the calculator exactly as it stands to figure out child support from Aug. 1, 2018 onward. If you still need to calculate child support for July 31, 2018 and earlier, follow the specific instructions noted before question 15.