When parents separate or divorce, determining child support can be one of the most taxing aspects of the process. Child support ensures that both parents meet the child’s financial needs.
In Colorado and Minnesota, there are specific guidelines and formulas for calculating child support, and understanding the process and utilizing time-sharing calculators can help make this process easier.
At Perusse Family Law, we are committed to helping families navigate the legal system and obtain the best outcome for their children.
What is Child Support?
Child support is the financial obligation each parent has to their child upon a divorce or if unmarried parents are not living together. The amount and duration of child support are established by law to set a standard for paying for the costs of raising a child when the family unit separates.
Child support payments are typically calculated using multiple variables, including the gross monthly incomes of both parents, the number of children, and the division of time the child spends with each parent.
Factors Considered when Calculating Child Support in CO and MN
Child support calculations involve numerous factors that are taken into consideration.
Colorado Child Support
Colorado child support is determined based on the Income Shares Model. C.R.S. 14-10-115. The child support guidelines use a formula that considers the expenses the parents would have incurred for their child if they had not separated. Factors that go into a child support calculation in Colorado include:
- Gross monthly income of both parents
- Monthly costs of health and dental insurance premiums for the children alone.
- Monthly costs of work-related child care costs.
- The number of overnights the child spends with each parent.
If a parent has a child in their care for more than 273 overnights per year, then that parent is said to have “sole custody.” If each parent spends at least 93 overnights per year with the child, then it is labeled “shared custody.”
Each parent has a financial contribution to their child. But, each parent’s obligation is compared to a “net” obligation paid by one to the other. The more time a parent cares for their child, typically, the less child support is owed to the other parent.
There is a free calculator that parents can use to see what a child support amount may look like.
Minnesota Child Support
Minnesota used the Income shares model for determining child support. Each parent’s gross monthly income is combined with a “household” income. Then each parent’s percentage of that household income is used to calculate the proportion each pays for monthly support of their children.
Child support includes basic support, monthly health insurance premiums, and monthly work-related childcare costs. The amount paid by one parent to the other is determined by the number of overnights spent with each parent. Minnesota has a free online calculator for parents to run the numbers themselves.
In determining child support, the court usually follows guidelines. However, there are cases where the court may deviate from the guidelines if it is in the child’s best interests.
In Minnesota, the objective is to ensure that both parents make a fair and equitable contribution to the financial support of their child or children.
Remember that while time-sharing calculators can be helpful, they may not always be accurate. Thus, seeking guidance from a seasoned family law attorney is imperative to ensure precise and accurate calculations.
Trust Perusse Family Law with Your CO and MN Child Custody Needs
Don’t handle the daunting and intricate child support process alone in Colorado or Minnesota. Perusse Family Law can assist with financial information, paperwork, and negotiations with the other parent’s attorney and represent you in court when necessary.
Contact our seasoned family law attorneys today to ensure your child’s financial needs are met at CO (303) 228-2285 or MN (612) 249-9343.