Does the law require child support in every case?

Minnesota Family Law attorney Melisa Field explains how the law does require child support.

Contact Melisa Field

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (651) 314-0059


The law does require child support in every case. That doesn’t mean that you actually have to follow the law, parents can agree to whatever they want. You cannot waive child support because it’s against public policy but if you have an agreement to reserve child support and that agreements in the best interest of the kids you can do that. But in the event of a disagreement, the default is to use the Minnesota statutes. We call them the Minnesota child support guidelines. And again, you can go onto the Department of Human Services website there’s a calculator, you plug in gross incomes and it tells you exactly what child support should be. It’s based on this respective gross incomes model, so you take your combined incomes, you take that combined income you look at the statute it tells you exactly how much it cost to raise however many number of children you have.

And then you’re each responsible for a percentage of that number in regard to your percentages of the picks. And then if you have parenting time you get a deduction and so those ranges are 0-10 percent, 10-45 percent, and 45.1-50 percent. You get a deduction and then the parent who has less parenting time pays the other. If it’s an equal schedule, there’s a very specific formula in the statute about how we calculate how much is paid. But if you have exactly the same income neither parent will pay basic child support to the other but there will be a sharing of medical insurance premiums and a sharing of childcare costs.