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A new law that changes how child support is calculated in Minnesota has come into effect for the new year.
From 1982 until January 1, 2007, Minnesota law required that child support payment amounts be calculated using a formula that considers only the net income of the person making payments, and the number of children in the household of the person receiving them.
There had been much discussion and criticism of the law because it failed to consider the income of the parent with custody. Some felt that the was unfair because for example, a custodial parent of two children would receive 30 percent of the paying parent’s income no matter how much the custodial parent made. This arrangement would sometimes result in the custodial parent receiving more than 70 percent of his or her household income from child support.
The New Law
On January 1, 2007, the new law, which requires the use of an “income-sharing” formula to determine child support, was put into effect. It will apply to child support orders filed after the start of the new year.
The new law requires that child support be based on a formula that considers:
· Number of children in the custody of the parent to receive child support
· Gross income of both parties before deductions
· The income an unemployed parent could make if he or she was employed
· Cost of medical care and childcare, which is to be shared by both parents
· Alimony arrangements
· Percentage of time the court has ordered the child to spend with each parent
· Any other existing child support orders for either parent
Already Receiving Child Support in Minnesota?
In an effort to avoid an overflow of motions for change, child support orders placed before January 1, 2007 will generally not be modifiable until 2008. There are also severe restrictions on the modification of any child support for which the motions for change were filed before 2007.
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