Laws About Child Support and Visitation in the State of Minnesota

By Elizabeth Rayne

In Minnesota, the court presumes that it is in the best interest of the child to spend time with both of her parents and receive the same amount of financial support she received before her parents divorced. So long as your child spends at least 10 percent of her time with you, courts in Minnesota may lower your child support obligation.

Custody Overview

Minnesota courts may award physical or legal custody to either or both parents. Physical custody refers to where the child lives and which parent makes day-to-day decisions for the child. Legal custody refers to which parent makes major decisions for the child, such as issues regarding health care, education or religion. The court may award joint physical or legal custody to both parents, sole legal or physical custody to one parent, or both. The court will determine the custody arrangement based on what is in the best interest of the child and consider any relevant evidence that may suggest one parent is more fit to take care of the child than the other.

Parenting Time

Minnesota law refers to visitation as "parenting time." Generally, the parent who does not have physical custody is awarded parenting time if the court finds it is in the best interest of the child. The court may set a specific schedule for when the non-custodial parent will have time with his child. The court is likely to grant parenting time when requested, unless the court finds that the child's emotional or physical health is at risk. However, the court also has the option of ordering supervised visitation and have someone else present during parenting time.

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Child Support Overview

In Minnesota, the child is entitled to receive financial support from both parents. The state uses the "income shares formula," meaning the court will consider the income and income potential of both parents. In the state, there is a presumption that both parents are able to work and the court will consider education, training and other evidence that demonstrates the income potential of each parent. The court will look at the combined income of the parents to determine the basic support amount based on the number of children. The court will then consider the percentage each parent contributes to this combined parental income to determine each parent's support obligation. If the support obligation from one parent is higher than the support obligation of the other, he may be ordered to pay the difference to the other parent. After determining the basic support amount, which provides for the basic living and education expenses of the child, the court can adjust the child support obligation to add in medical care and child care expenses.

Support and Visitation

The basic support determination may be adjusted based on parenting time, with the court considering the percentage of time the child spends with each parent. If the child spends between 10 to 45 percent of his time with one parent, that parent's child support obligation may be reduced by 12 percent. However, if the child spends less than 10 percent of his time with the paying parent, the child support obligation will not be adjusted. The court will generally calculate the percentage of time spent with each parent based on the number of overnights per year.

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Massachusetts' Child Support Laws


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Wisconsin Child Support Laws When the Custodial Parent Moves

In Wisconsin, courts award a combination of custody -- legal and physical -- according to the child’s best interests. Legal custody is the right to make important decisions for the child, while physical custody, called physical placement in Wisconsin, is the day-to-day care of the child. The child’s visitation with the noncustodial parent is referred to as “periods of placement.” When the custodial parent moves, the noncustodial parent has the option of challenging the move, but the move, if allowed, may impact periods of placement and child support.

New York Statute for Visitation

The best interests of the child is paramount in determinations of child custody in New York. To that end, it is preferable that parents reach a voluntary agreement instead of going to court. However, if they cannot reach an agreement, the court will make a determination as to both legal and physical custody, with the nonresidential parent generally provided visitation rights as part of sole custody orders. Further, the court may be petitioned when issues with visitation arise and the parents cannot agree.

Kentucky Child Vistitation Laws

Although divorced parents in Kentucky often share legal custody of their children, they don't typically share physical custody. For the parent without physical custody, a visitation schedule protects that parent's right to spend time with the child. Parents should know the Kentucky laws regarding custody rights and related legal issues, such as child support or grandparent visitation.

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