The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently published an article about the Minnesota child support guidelines that were amended as of January 1, 2007. Seems no one is happy with what was sold as a more equitable approach to calculating child support, despite the legislature’s goal of reducing acrimony among split parents.
Reporter Jean Hopfensperger provides examples of mothers who are upset about the reduction in support received and writes that that “Fathers’ rights groups say orders still are set too high and the formula is based on unrealistic child-rearing expenses.”
Unlike the old child support guidelines that looked only at the net income of the paying parent, the new guidelines examine the gross income of both parents and divides support based upon their relative incomes – like most other states. Hopfensperger says that with the sagging economy, more parents are seeking to re-open the issue and see if they can increase the amount received or decrease the amount paid. Many are shocked to learn that the opposite will result.
If you are interested, you can access the Minnesota Child Support Calculator found at the Minnesota Department of Human Services web site to determine updated support amounts in your situation. Keep in mind that a “substantial” change in circumstance must present itself – meaning that under the new guidelines the difference paid or received per month must be at least 20% of the prior obligation and total more than $75.00.