Getting and Changing a Child Support Order

Health and Human Services

Child support in Minnesota is calculated using guidelines established in state law, Minnesota Statutes 518A.

Minnesota uses an income shares formula to calculate child support.

In addition to the “income shares formula” for calculating child support, the law

  • gives the courts direction on which parent should carry the health care coverage
  • gives credit for court ordered parenting time (*see below)
  • directs courts to take family situations into account by giving a deduction for children living in the home and not covered under the court order

What does a child support court order include?

  • Basic support –the court will determine the amount of financial support to be paid by looking at the gross income of each parent, and applying the combined incomes to a support formula found in Minnesota Statutes 518A.35.
  • Medical support—the court may order a parent to provide health and dental insurance for the children or make a payment toward the cost of insurance coverage. The court may also decide who will pay for uninsured medical and dental expenses.
  • Childcare support—the court may order a parent to pay all or part of, work or school-related childcare (daycare) expenses.

           *The Parenting Expense Adjustment, Minnesota Statutes 518A.36, effective August 1, 2018, reflects the presumption that while exercising parenting time, a parent is responsible for and incurs costs of caring for the child(ren).  The formula used to calculate the adjustment is complex and is based on the number of overnight equivalents that a parent spends with the child(ren).  The on-line child support calculator includes the parenting expense adjustment.