Child Support

Back to Practice Areas

Rogness & Field specializes in Minnesota child support cases. Our experienced attorneys can help you navigate the process of establishing or modifying child support.

Under Minnesota law, child support is determined by considering both parents’ gross incomes, the amount of time each parent spends with the child, and the cost of child care and medical support for the child.

There are three areas of support that the court considers: basic support, child care support, and medical support.

Basic support is determined by taking the gross monthly income of each parent. The parties’ gross monthly incomes are then combined to determine the “Parental Income for Child Support”, or PICS. The percentage of each parent’s gross income contributes to the total PICS amount. The court will then multiply each percentage times the total combined child support obligation to determine each parent’s share of that obligation. After this is determined, a Parenting Expense Adjustment is applied. This is a credit for the amount of time the noncustodial parent spends with the child.

If there are childcare costs or medical support costs, the court will split these costs between the parents. This is typically split according to the PICS. To estimate a child support order, the Minnesota Department of Human Services has an online calculator that can be accessed at: http://childsupportcalculator.dhs.state.mn.us

Child support may be subject to modification if there has been a change in circumstances rendering the existing child support order unreasonable and unfair. Changed circumstances include: 

(1) substantially increased or decreased income of the payor or recipient of support;

(2) substantially increased or decreased need of the payor, recipient or minor child subject ot the order; 

(3) receipt of public assistance 

(4) a change in the cost of living for either party;

(5) extraordinary medical expenses of the child

(6) a change in the availability of appropriate health care coverage or a substantial increase or decrease in health care coverage costs; 

(7) the addition of, or substantial change in, work-related or education-related child care expenses; or,

(8) upon the emancipation of the child. 

There is presumed to be a substantial change in circumstances if the application of the guidelines to the current circumstances results in a support calculation that is at least 20% and at least 75% higher or lower than the existing support order. If that presumption is met, the existing order is also presumed to be unfair. 

Unless parties agree otherwise, modification of support can only be granted as of the date a motion requesting modification has been served. If you think that you might need assistance with reviewing or modifying child support, then please contact our office.