A child has the right to emotional and financial support from both parents. One parent should never have the financial burden alone to support the child. If both parents and the child do not live together, the court will order child support. There are many different scenarios that can make the process difficult, but with the help of a child support lawyer in Minnesota, you can make sure that child support is ordered and that what is ordered is fair and in accordance with the law.
At Heritage Law Office, we know the law and how to handle these delicate types of cases. Whether you seek child support or want to challenge it or whether you are addressing child support through a divorce proceeding, our child support attorney will provide thorough advice and handle all aspects of the case while keeping you informed. To learn more about child support and your options regarding it and your unique situation, contact us online or at 414-253-8500.
What is Child Support in Minnesota?
Child support is a way to ensure that both parents, although no longer in a relationship with one another, are financially responsible for their children while taking into consideration their ability to provide support. In most states and in most cases, child support lasts until children turn 18 years of age. There are exceptions made in cases where the child is still attending high school or is considered to be disabled.
When one parent, or custodian, is seeking child support, they may do so by pursuing the matter pro-se through the court system, by hiring an attorney to represent them, or by seeking assistance from their local child support office.
Factors Considered when Determining Child Support in Minnesota
While each jurisdiction varies, there are certain factors most courts take into consideration when determining whether or not child support should be ordered, and if so, in what amount.
Some of the most common include:
- The gross income earned by each parent
- The number of children each parent is responsible for supporting
- How much time the children under the order spend with each parent
- Child care expenses
- The cost of health insurance for the child
- Whether or not the child suffers from any sort of disability that requires extra expenses
- Whether or not either parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed
The court will also consider any factors that it considers relevant and impact the parties' ability to pay child support.
Failure to Pay Child Support in Minnesota
When child support is established, a payment schedule is also established. When the parent ordered to pay support fails to do so, there are options available to the parent (or custodian) receiving the support. They are able to file a motion in the court to have the support order enforced, they may seek an attorney to help them, or they may seek the help of the local child support office.
In most jurisdictions, the parent under the order to pay will be able to explain to the court why they have not made their payments. The court will consider the matter and enter an order, which may include jail time for failure to pay. Even when jail time is ordered, the parent under the order can avoid it by paying a certain amount towards their debt as ordered by the court.
In some cases, there are remedies available to ensure the child support is paid, such as wage withholding and tax refund withholding. Another remedy is the suspension of the driver's license of the person not making their payments as ordered.
Why Hire a Family Law Lawyer in Minnesota
If you are seeking child support establishment or enforcement, an attorney can help you locate the non-custodial parent and determine their ability to pay. If you are being ordered to pay child support, an attorney can help you ensure the amount of the order is fair. Child support orders are not set in stone and may be modified when the circumstances warrant a change.
Contact a Child Support Attorney in Minnesota
Child support is necessary to make sure your child receives the things they need to grow and thrive in life. One parent should not bear the financial burden. Our child support lawyer at Heritage Law Office understands what is at stake and uses skill, knowledge, and resources to represent your rights. We also handle other issues alongside child support, like child custody and spousal support. Contact us today by using our online form or calling us directly at 414-253-8500 to schedule a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the Age Limit for Child Support in Minnesota?
Child support is generally required until the child reaches the age of 18. However, the obligation may extend if the child is still in high school or has special needs that require financial support beyond the age of 18.
2. How is the Amount of Child Support Calculated in Minnesota?
Minnesota courts use an "Income Shares Model" to calculate child support. This method takes into account the gross income of both parents, the number of children, the time each parent spends with the children, child care expenses, and the cost of health insurance for the child. Courts may also consider any other relevant factors that affect a parent's ability to pay.
3. What Actions Can Be Taken for Failure to Pay Child Support?
Failure to pay child support can result in various consequences such as wage and tax refund withholding, suspension of driver's license, or even jail time. The parent receiving the support has the option to file a motion to enforce the order in court or seek assistance from their local child support office.
4. Can Child Support Orders be Modified?
Yes, child support orders are not set in stone. They can be modified when there is a significant change in circumstances such as loss of employment, increase in income, or change in the needs of the child. To modify an existing order, one must typically file a motion for modification with the court.
5. Do I Need a Lawyer for Child Support Issues?
Having a lawyer can be invaluable when dealing with child support matters. If you're seeking to establish or enforce child support, an experienced family law attorney can help you locate the non-custodial parent and assess their ability to pay. Conversely, if you're the one being ordered to pay child support, legal representation can help ensure the amount is fair and justified.