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Instructions for Computing Child Support

These instructions are not a substitute for the child support guidelines laws. If you have questions, you should consult an attorney and the child support guidelines statutes which are on the Revisor's website at www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us.


Important Disclaimer: The child support guidelines worksheet, instructions, and calculator are for information and educational use only and are not a guarantee of the amount of child support that will be ordered. The results obtained are only as accurate as the information used. The actual child support order may be affected by other factors. The Court has the final authority to determine the amount of the child support order. If this worksheet is attached to a court order, it is part of the Court’s decision. This worksheet may or may not show the amount the Court decided to order. If the amount in the order is different, that is the amount to be paid.


This page contains instructions for:



CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES WORKSHEET INSTRUCTIONS

At the top of the form enter as "Parent A" the name of the parent without primary physical custody.


Enter as "Parent B" the name of the parent with primary physical custody.


If both parents share equal physical custody time, enter as "Parent A" the name of the parent with the higher income.


Next, enter the number of joint children. "Joint child" means the dependent child who is the child of both parents in the support proceeding.


Make sure you enter Parent A's information in the Parent A column and Parent B's information in the Parent B column throughout the worksheet.


Income


Complete this section for both Parent A and Parent B. If a certain field does not apply, leave that field blank. Multiply weekly income by 4.33 to reach a monthly amount.


1a.

Monthly Income Received

Enter the Monthly Income Received for each parent. This includes any form of periodic payment to an individual including, but not limited to, salaries, wages, commissions, spousal maintenance payments received under a previous order or the current proceeding, workers' compensation and unemployment benefits, annuity payments, military and naval retirement, pension and disability payments, Social Security benefits received by a parent based on the parent's own eligibility, and income from self-employment or operation of a business.


Income from self-employment includes operation of a business and joint ownership of a partnership or closely-held business. Income means gross receipts minus costs of goods sold minus ordinary and necessary business expenses. Do not include accelerated depreciation (§179), investment tax credits or other business expenses that are inappropriate or excessive. Business expenses that are allowable by the IRS are not necessarily business expenses for child support purposes.


Deductions from income for contributions to pensions, 401-K, IRA or other retirement benefits are not allowed. Exclude from income items such as a parent's receipt of child support payments, spouse's income and public assistance benefits received (e.g. MFIP or SSI). Minnesota guidelines also presume that adoption assistance payments, guardianship assistance payments and foster care subsidies are excluded and not counted as income. Also, overtime compensation is generally excluded from income.


1b.

Child's Social Security/Veterans' Benefits Derived from a Parent's Eligibility

Enter the monthly Social Security or Veterans' Benefits amount provided for the joint child(ren) due to a parent's eligibility. Enter the child(ren)'s benefit amount in the column of the parent on whose eligibility the benefits are based. Exclude any benefit amount due to the disability of a child(ren). Leave blank if not applicable.


1c.

Potential Income

Enter the monthly potential income if appropriate. Minnesota guidelines presume that a parent can be gainfully employed full-time. If a parent is voluntarily unemployed, underemployed or employed on a less than full-time basis, or if there is no direct evidence of any income, you may use potential income. This is in addition to any monthly income received.


Determine potential income by one of three methods, as appropriate: 1) the parent's probable earnings level; 2) if the parent is receiving unemployment or workers' compensation, income may be calculated using the actual amount of the benefit received; and, 3) the amount of income the parent could earn working 30 hours at 100 percent of the current federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher.


1d.

Spousal Maintenance Obligated to be Paid

Enter the amount of monthly spousal maintenance each parent is ordered to pay. This includes spousal maintenance for the spouse of this action or any former spouse. Leave blank if not applicable.


1e.

Child Support Orders Obligated to be Paid for Nonjoint Child(ren)

Enter the amount of monthly child support each parent is ordered to pay for any nonjoint child(ren). Nonjoint child(ren) means the legal child(ren) of one, but not both of the parents in this support proceeding. Stepchildren are not considered nonjoint children. Leave blank if not applicable.


1f.

Monthly Gross Income

To calculate the Monthly Gross Income, complete the following: 1a + 1b + 1c – 1d – 1e. Enter the amount for each parent in the corresponding column (Parent A, Parent B). Enter zero if a parent has no monthly gross income.


Adjustments


2a.

Number of Nonjoint Child(ren)

For each parent, enter the number of nonjoint children who 1) primarily reside in the parent's household, and 2) for whom the parent does not have an existing court order for basic support. The maximum number allowed is 2. Leave blank if not applicable.


2b.

Deduction for Nonjoint Child(ren) in the Home

If either parent has an amount entered in 2a, complete the following instructions for that parent to determine the nonjoint child credit.


  • Go to the Guidelines statute (MN Statutes 518A.35)
  • If using the link scroll to the end of the webpage to find the Basic Support Guidelines Table
  • Apply the amounts from line 1f (monthly gross income) and 2a (number of nonjoint children) to the Basic Support Guidelines Table

Once you determine the amount for that parent, divide the number by 2 and enter the amount in that parent's column. Leave blank if not applicable.


3.

Parental Income for Determining Child Support (PICS)

Subtract line 2b from 1f for each parent and enter the resulting amount in that parent's column. This is each parent's PICS. Enter zero if applicable.


 

Combined PICS

Next, add the totals together (from Parent A and Parent B column) and enter the result in the third column labeled "combined".


4.

Percentage Share of Combined PICS

Divide each parent's income on line 3 by the combined PICS on line 3. Round the percentage up or down to the nearest whole percentile (example: .125 is 13percent, .124 is 12percent) making sure the total is 100percent. Enter zero if applicable for a parent.


5.

Combined Basic Support Obligation

  • Go to the Guidelines statute (MN Statutes 518A.35)
  • If using the link scroll to the end of the webpage to find the Basic Support Guidelines Table

Apply the Combined PICS from line 3 and the number of joint children to the Basic Support Guidelines Table. Enter the amount in the combined column.


6.

Pro Rata Basic Support Obligation

If Parent B has primary physical custody of the child(ren), multiply line 4 by line 5 for Parent A and enter the resulting amount in Parent A's column. Leave Parent B's field blank. If neither party has primary physical custody of the child(ren), multiply line 4 by line 5 for each parent and enter the resulting amount in each parent's column.


Basic Support Obligation


7.

If there is a court order awarding parenting time, complete the Parenting Expense Adjustment Supplement. Enter the figure from line 6c or 7d from the supplement. This is the basic support obligation after parenting expense adjustment.


If there is no court order awarding parenting time, do not complete the Parenting Expense Adjustment Supplement. Transfer the amounts on line 6 of this worksheet (Pro Rata Basic Support Obligation) to line 7 (Basic Support Obligation).


Child Care Support Obligation


8.

If either parent has child care expenses for the joint child(ren), complete the Child Care Support Obligation Supplement. Enter the resulting figure from either line 10 or line 11 of the Child Care Support Obligation Supplement.


If neither party has child care expenses for the joint child(ren), leave this line blank and go to line 9.


Medical Support Obligation


 

Complete lines 9a through 9g, but not line 10, if one parent will be ordered to carry health care coverage for the joint child(ren).


If neither parent has appropriate health care coverage available and the child(ren) is on public coverage (Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare), go directly to line 10 and complete for the parent that is not the public assistance applicant (Parent A in most cases).


If neither parent has health care coverage available, and the child(ren) is not on public coverage, leave lines 9a-9g and 10 blank. Go directly to line 11 to determine the pro rata share of the unreimbursed or uninsured medical expenses for each parent.


9a.

Monthly Cost of Health Care Coverage

Enter the monthly cost of health care coverage for the joint child(ren) in the combined column.


9b.

Pro Rata Share of the Health Care Costs

Multiply line 9a by the percentage in line 4 for each parent and enter the amount in the column for each parent.


9c.

Contribution to Health Care Coverage

Enter the amount from line 9b for the parent who is not providing the health care coverage. Leave blank for the other parent.


9d.

Monthly Cost of the Dental Coverage

Enter the monthly cost of dental coverage. If there is dental coverage cost separate from the health care coverage cost available for the joint child(ren), enter the cost. If there is no dental coverage available, or if the dental costs are part of the health care coverage costs, leave blank and go directly to line 9g.


9e.

Pro Rata Share of the Dental Coverage Costs

Multiply line 9d by the percentage in line 4 for each parent.


9f.

Contribution to Dental Coverage

Enter the amount from line 9e for the parent who is not providing the dental coverage. Leave blank for the other parent.


9g.

Medical Support Obligation --- Appropriate Coverage Available

Add the amounts in line 9c and 9f for each parent and enter the total here. Leave blank if no obligation.


10.

Medical Support Obligation for Public Coverage --- No appropriate coverage available

  • Go to the MinnesotaCare Premium Tables published annually by the Department of Human Services
  • Find the table for the appropriate family size. Add one (representing Parent A) plus the number of joint children. If this total is greater than 5, use the table for 5 family members.
  • Apply Parent A's PICS (line 3) to the table.
  • When determining the number of people covered use the number of joint children and exclude Parent A. If the number of people covered exceeds three, use the column for three people covered.

Enter the corresponding premium amount. Leave blank for Parent B. If Parent A's PICS exceeds the eligibility requirements, use the premium for the highest eligible income on the appropriate MinnesotaCare Premium Table.


11.

Share of Uninsured and/or Unreimbursed Medical Expenses

Enter the amounts from line 4 of the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. This is the percentage share of unreimbursed and/or uninsured medical expenses for each parent.


12.

Net Child Support Obligation

For each parent enter the total cost of basic support, child care, and medical support by adding lines 7 + 8 + (9g or 10, whichever you calculated). If a parent has no obligation, leave blank for that parent.


BENEFIT ADJUSTMENT


13.

Child(ren)'s Social Security/Veterans' Benefits Derived from Parent's Eligibility

If Social Security or Veterans' benefits are received by a parent as representative payee for the joint child(ren) as a result of the other parent's disability or retirement, enter the amount of the benefit received for the child(ren) in the column of the parent for whose eligibility benefits are based. Leave blank if not applicable.


COMPUTING A FINAL OBLIGATION


14.

Total Child Support Obligation

Subtract the amount in 13 from line 12 and enter the new amount for each parent. If the new amount is a negative number, enter zero. If Parent B does not owe an obligation, leave the line blank and do not continue further with Parent B.


15a.

Monthly Gross Income

Enter the monthly gross income from line 1f for each parent with an amount (including zero) in line 14.


ABILITY TO PAY CALCULATION


15b.

Income Available for Support

Subtract $1,167 (120 percent of 2014 federal poverty guideline) from the amount in line 15a and enter the new amount.


16.

Monthly Child Support Obligation --- No Adjustment Necessary

  • If line 15b is higher than the amount in line 14, enter the amount from line 14. This is the Monthly Support Obligation to be ordered. Do not complete lines 17-22.
  • If line 15b is negative, or
    less than $50.01 for 1-2 joint children, or
    less than $75.01 for 3-4 joint children, or
    less than $100.01 for 5 or more children, skip to line 22.
  • If line 15b is higher than these amounts, but less than line 14, continue below with the Support Obligation Adjustment on line 17.

Child Support Obligation Adjustment


The Support Obligation Adjustment should only be completed if advised to on line 16.


This section reduces the amount of the total child support obligation so that the obligation is not greater than the amount of income available for support on line 15b. The child support obligations are reduced by in the following order: 1) medical support; 2) child care support and 3) basic support.


Example

Line Number        
14. $600      
15b. $200      
17. $400      
    Original Obligation Amount of Reduction New Obligation
18. Medical Support $100 - $100 = $0
19. Child Care Support $100 - $100 = $0
20. Basic Support $400 - $200 = $200

17.

Amount of Reduction

Subtract the Income Available for Support in line 15b from the Total Child Support Obligation in line 14 and enter the new amount in line 17 (Amount of Reduction). Line 17 is the amount that must be subtracted from the Child Support Obligations in lines 18-20 so that the resulting obligations will equal the Income Available for Support.


Enter the amounts in the first column, Original Obligation, for line 18-20:

  • Enter the Medical Support (if applicable) from line 9g or 10
  • Enter the Child Care Support(if applicable) from line 8
  • Enter the Basic Support from line 7

18.

Medical Support

  • Subtract enough (or all) from the "Original Obligation" column so the amount subtracted is equal to line 17. If the Medical Support in the "Original Obligation" column is less than the amount on line 17, subtract all of the Medical Support.
  • Enter the amount subtracted into the "Amount of Reduction" field.
  • Enter the new amount, after the subtraction, into the "New Obligation" field. If you subtracted the total amount of the Medical Support, enter zero in the "New Obligation" field.
  • If you are not able to subtract enough Medical Support to equal line 17, continue subtracting on line 19.
  • If you are able to subtract enough Medical Support to equal line 17, carry over the "Original Obligation" column for the Child Care and Basic Support Obligation to the "New Obligation" column (without subtracting) and go to line 21.

19.

Child Care Support

  • Perform the same type of subtraction as performed for line 18.
  • Subtract enough (or all) from the "Original Obligation" so the amount subtracted, plus the amount subtract in line 18 is equal to line 17. If the Child Care Support in the "Original Obligation" column plus the amount of Medical Support subtracted is less than the amount on line 17, subtract all of the Child Care Support.
  • Enter the amount subtracted into the "Amount of Reduction" field.
  • Enter the new amount, after the subtraction, into the "New Obligation" field. If you subtracted the total amount of the Child Care Support, enter zero in the "New Obligation" field.
  • If you are not able to subtract enough Child Care Support (plus the Medical Support amount subtracted) to equal line 17, continue subtracting on line 20.
  • If you are able to subtract enough Child Care Support plus the Medical Support amount subtracted on line 18 to equal line 17, carry over the "Original Obligation" column for the Basic Support to the "New Obligation" column (without subtracting) and go to line 21.

20.

Basic Support

  • Perform the same type of subtraction as performed for line 18 and 19.
  • Subtract enough Basic Support from the "Original Obligation" so the amount subtracted, plus the amount subtract in line 18 and 19 is equal to line 17.
  • Enter the amount subtracted into the "Amount of Reduction" field.
  • Enter the new amount, after the subtraction, into the "New Obligation " field.

21.

Monthly Child Support Obligation After Adjustment

Once your subtracting is complete, add up the total of the New Obligation (column 3) for lines 18 – 20. This amount should equal line 15b. Enter the amount. This is the Monthly Child Support Obligation After Adjustment to be ordered for that parent. Do not complete lines 22a-22c.


Presumptive Minimum Order --- (Basic Support Only)


The Presumptive Minimum Order should only be completed for Parent A and/or Parent B if advised to do so on line 16. Go to the correct line (22a-22c) depending on the number of joint children.


22a.

For 1 or 2 joint children

Enter $50 per month. This is the Monthly Support Obligation to be ordered. If no obligation for a parent, leave blank.


22b.

For 3 or 4 joint children

Enter $75 per month. This is the Monthly Support Obligation to be ordered. If no obligation for a parent, leave blank.


22c.

For 5 or more joint children

Enter $100 per month. This is the Monthly Support Obligation to be ordered. If no obligation for a parent, leave blank.





PARENTING EXPENSE ADJUSTMENT SUPPLEMENT

You must complete this supplement to determine the percentage of parenting time of each parent. The percentage of parenting time means the percentage of time a child is scheduled to spend with the parent during a calendar year according to a court order. If there is no court order awarding parenting time, no parenting expense adjustment should be given.


Fill in the fields with the most accurate information available. Once complete, enter the result from either 6c or 7d on this supplement as the answer to line 7 on the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.


Note: The web guidelines calculator does not calculate parenting time. If using the web calculator, the Parenting Expense Adjustment worksheet does not display lines 1 through 3. When the instructions below mention line 4, refer to line 1. For line 5, refer to line 2 and so on. The link to the Blank Worksheets does have a copy of the Parenting Expense Adjustment Supplement that includes all 7 lines as mentioned below.


At the top of this worksheet enter the name of "Parent A" and "Parent B" to correspond with the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. Next, enter the number of joint children.


If you know the percentage of parenting time, skip to line 4. If you don't know the percentage of parenting time go to line 1.


Overnights

1.

Enter the name of each joint child next to the field for Child #1, Child #2, etc. Under the column for each parent, enter the number of overnights per year each child spends with that parent.


2.

Total Parenting Overnights

Add the number of overnights for each parent in column A and B. Enter the 2 totals.


3.

Total Overnights Available

To find the total overnights available per year, multiply the number of joint children by 365. Enter the number in the combined column.


4.

Percentage of Parenting Time

Enter the percentage of parenting time for each parent in the corresponding column making sure that the combined total equals 100 percent. If the specific percentage is not stated in the court order, divide line 2 by line 3 to determine the percentage of parenting time for each parent.


5.

Enter the amounts from Child Support Guidelines Worksheet line 6 for each parent in the corresponding column. Enter the amount from Child Support Guidelines Worksheet line 5 into the third column (combined).


Parenting Expense Adjustment Calculation

If either parent's percentage on line 4 is 45percent or less, go to lines 6a – 6c to complete the worksheet.


If both parents' percentages from line 4 are at least 45.1 percent, go to lines 7a – 7d to complete the worksheet.


 

45 percent or less


6a.

Review the amounts on line 4 for each parent

  • If either parent's percentage is between 10 percent and 45 percent, enter 12 percent for that parent. Leave the field blank for the other parent.
  • If either parent's percentage is below 10 percent, enter 0 percent for that parent. Leave the field blank for the other parent.

6b.

Multiply the percentage in line 6a (0 percent or 12 percent for Parent A) by that parent's amount in line 5 (do not multiply by the combined amount in line 5). Leave blank for Parent B.


6c.

Obligation After Parenting Expense Adjustment

Subtract the amount in 6b from the amount in 5 and enter the amount. Only Parent A should have an adjustment. Transfer Parent A's number to line 7 of the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. Line 7 of the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet should be blank for Parent B.


 

45.1 percent or more


7a.

If the percentage of parenting time for both parents is at least 45.1 percent, multiply line 5 column 3 (combined support obligation) by .75. Enter this amount.


7b.

Enter each parent's percentage share of combined PICS from line 4 of the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.


7c.

Multiply each parent's percentage from 7b by the amount in line 7a.





CHILD CARE OBLIGATION SUPPLEMENT

Complete this worksheet if either parent incurs child care costs for the joint child(ren). Fill in the fields with the most accurate information available. Note: There are Federal and State limits to the amount of credit you can claim depending on the number of children.


At the top of this worksheet enter the name of "Parent A" and "Parent B" to correspond with the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.


Child care tax credits are calculated for the parent who incurs the child care expense.


1.

Parental Income for Determining Child Support (PICS)

Enter the PICS for each parent from Child Support Guidelines Worksheet line 3. Note: this is not the combined PICS.


2a.

Monthly Cost of Child Care for Joint Children

Enter the monthly cost of child care for the joint child in the column for the parent who pays the child care costs and complete lines 2b – 8 for that parent. If child care costs vary during the year, use the total yearly child care costs and divide by 12. Leave lines 2b – 8 blank for the other parent.


If child care assistance pays costs, enter the total cost paid by both child care assistance and the parent in the column for the parent who is the applicant for assistance and complete lines 2b – 8 for that parent. Leave lines 2b – 8 blank for the other parent.


2b.

Number of Children Receiving Child Care

Enter the number of children that have child care costs.


2c.

Cost of Child Care to be Applied to Tax Tables

The monthly federal and state limit for the tax credit for child care costs is $250 for one child and $500 for 2 or more children. The limit is based on the number of children for which child care costs are expended. Enter either the limit amount ($250 or $500) or the actual costs from line 2a, whichever is less.


3.

Federal Child Care Credit Percentage

Enter the Federal monthly tax credit percentage from the Dependent Care Credit Table for the parent's PICS (line 1). This table can be found on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) "publication 503" or click on the IRS link and search for "publication 503."


4.

Estimated Monthly Federal Child Care Credit

Multiply line 3 by line 2c for the parent and enter the resulting number.


5.

Minnesota Child Care Credit

Find the monthly tax credit from the Minnesota Child and Dependent Care Credit Table for the parent's PICS (line 1). This table can be found on the Minnesota Department of Revenue form "M1CD" or click on the link for the Minnesota Department of Revenue and search for form "M1CD".


After locating the amount, divide it by 12 and enter the amount.


6.

Estimated Monthly Minnesota Child Care Credit

Enter the amount in either line 4 or line 5, whichever is less.


7.

Total Estimated Tax Credits

Add line 4 and line 6 and enter the resulting total.


8.

Net Child Care Cost

Subtract line 7 from line 2a and enter the resulting amount.


9.

Percentage Share of Combined PICS

Enter the amount from line 4 of the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet for each parent.


10.

Pro Rata Share of Net Child Care Cost

Multiply line 9 by line 8 for the parent who does not pay the child care costs or who does not receive child care assistance. Enter the amount.


  • If no child care assistance is expended, transfer the amount for the parent who does not incur the child care expenses to line 8 of the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. Leave line 8 blank for the other parent. Do not complete lines 11 or 12 of this form.
  • If child care assistance is expended, do not transfer any amount to line 8 of the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. Complete line 11.

11.

Child Care Support Obligation if any Joint Child is Covered by Child Care Assistance and Parent A Meets Income Limits for Child Care Assistance

Perform the following for the parent who did not apply for assistance:

  • DHS publishes the Child Care Assistance Co-payment Schedule in a bi-weekly format
  • Find the table for the appropriate family size (Parent A plus the number of joint children) and co-payment schedule, then multiply biweekly amount by 2.167 to convert to monthly amount.
  • Apply the parent's PICS (line 1 of this supplement) to the table
  • Determine the co-payment amount

Compare line 11 to line 10 and transfer the lower amount to line 8 of the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet for that parent. Leave line 8 blank for the other parent.


If the parent's income is over the income limit on the table, transfer the amount in line 10 to line 8 of the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet for that parent. Leave line 8 blank for the other parent.