Child Support

Child support obligations are established by court order and are intended as payments for the financial support of a minor child. Since children are not able to care for themselves, they have the right to receive support from a parent. While child support may mean different things to different families, the most important thing is that it can mean a better and healthier life for your child.

Are you looking for a lawyer with child support experience, or do you have any queries about child support? If so, you are in the right place. Here are answers to the most common questions about child support that may be of great help before we dive into the specifics of your case as each case is unique and child support is not “one size fits all.”

Who Qualifies For Child Support?

A child is eligible to obtain financial support up to the age of 18 years or until they complete their high school education not exceeding 20 years of age. It is the responsibility of both parents to contribute to the financial needs of their child, if they are able.

Who Can Ask For Child Support?

A Parent Usually, when parents don’t live together, they can consider going to court and requesting an order establishing child support. A good child support lawyer in Saint Paul can advise you on how to go about this process.

Another Person An individual with third-party custody of a child, such as a grandparent or foster parent, may also have the right to request the court to order either or both parents to contribute to the financial needs of a child.
County Attorney’s Office If a parent receives public assistance on behalf of a minor child, the local county attorney’s office may serve and file pleadings to establish a parent’s obligation to contribute to the financial needs of a child.

How is Child Support Calculated?

Generally, the parent with whom the child primarily resides is eligible to seek and obtain an Order for child support from the other parent. The calculation process is based on Minnesota Child Support Guidelines, which take into account both parents’ respective incomes. The guidelines are presumptive, which means the Court must establish child support amounts in accordance with the guidelines, however the Court has the authority to deviate downwards or upwards from the amount in the guidelines so long as the deviation is based on the best interests of the child.

Child support encompasses the following parts:

Basic Support This refers to the payments that cover a child’s housing, clothing, food, education, transportation and other expenses for the child’s care.

  • Medical Support This refers to the provision of health care and dental insurance coverage that the other parent provides.
  • Uninsured/Unreimbursed Medical Expenses This refers to the out-of-pocket expenses, such as co-pays for prescription or doctor visit, as well as the payments for uninsured or unreimbursed medical and dental expenses.
  • Child Care Support This covers the work-related or education-related child-care expenses incurred on behalf of a child.

 

Analyzing respective parents’ incomes to determine child support obligations can be a very challenging process because it is based on a number of factors, one of which includes the percentage of parenting time allocated to each parent. It is always advisable to hire a lawyer with experience in child support to represent you in these matters.

Can a Child Support Obligation Be Modified?

Personal financial situations change over time. Parents lose their jobs, take pay cuts, or get promotions to higher-paying positions. Health and dental care situations also change. The costs of insurance may change, costing more or less to cover a child. And, a child may no longer be incurring child care costs. Such changes can affect the amount of child support as calculated by legal guidelines.

Nonetheless, in any of the above circumstances, a child support department will not automatically alter your child support obligation. It is up to you to file a motion to modify child support.

Some parties tend to procrastinate on their obligations, resulting in child support arrears. Courts generally do not retroactively change child support obligations to the date of the change in employment or insurance or child care. Thus, it is imperative that you consult a lawyer immediately to review your options when there is a change in your financial circumstances.

Who is a Child Support Magistrate?

A Child Support Magistrate refers to the judicial officer who specializes in handling child support cases. A child support magistrate hears most cases that involve only child support matters, in contrast to hearings that include child custody, parenting time, spousal maintenance and property related issues. If the hearing includes other issues, the matter will be referred to a District Court Judge.

R. Leigh Frost Law

If there is a critical issue that needs to be considered in unmarried parents splitting up or divorce cases for married, it should be child support. Other than the emotional aspects of separation and divorce, there is also the financial aspect that affects the parents and their children, not only financially, but also physically and emotionally.

If you are looking for a lawyer with experience in child support, we at R. Leigh Frost Law are committed to delivering the best legal services to help you get a just and equitable child support result, which will enable you to bring up your child in a better and healthy life. Please contact us today.