Child Custody and Child Support: How Are They Related?

In Minnesota, child support is directly tied to parenting time, but not custody. The law in Minnesota was changed in 2007 regarding how child support is calculated. Child custody can be joint or sole physical custody, and it won’t impact the child support obligations of the parties. The order for parenting time however, is a factor in the child support calculations.

A parent who spends less than 10% time parenting will pay the most child support. The idea is that while a child is with a parent, that parent will spend money on food, clothing, and activities. A parent who spends 50% time with his children will pay less child support than a parent who spends less than 45%.

While the support obligation may be lowered for a parent who has more parenting time, a parent must carefully consider what is best for the children with regard to a parenting schedule regardless of money.  A parent will spend money directly caring for the child in his/her care and while not exact, the child support calculator used in Minnesota family law cases is intended to make the support equal based on both parents’ income and time caring for the children.