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Glossary

Child Care Assistance

The Child Care Assistance Program helps families pay child care costs for children up to age 12, and for children with special needs up to age 14. Child care costs may be paid for qualifying families while they go to work, look for work or attend school.


Choose Yes if the Child Care Assistance Program pays all or a portion of the child care costs for the nonjoint child(ren)

Child Care Costs

Child care costs include the total amount paid for child care for the joint child(ren).


Costs paid by public assistance should be included in the total amount paid.


If child care costs vary during the year, use the total yearly child care costs and divide by 12 to determine the average monthly cost.


The calculator assumes the parent who takes on the child care expense is the custodial parent. The calculator is only able to calculate child care support costs for one parent.

Child Support

Child support is an amount for basic support, child care support, and medical support in accordance with an award in a legal proceeding for the care, support and education of a child of the parties to the proceeding, a contribution by parents under Minn. Stat. § 256.87, or support ordered under chapter 518B or 518C.

Child(ren)'s Social Security/Veterans Benefits Due to a parent's Eligibility

Review monthly gross income.


Child(ren)'s Social Security/Veterans Benefits due to a Parent's Eligibility is the monthly Social Security or Veterans Benefits amount provided for the joint child(ren). The amount of the benefit provided for a child is included in the gross income of the parent on whose eligibility the benefits are based. Any benefit amount due to the disability of a child(ren) is not part of gross income.


Enter the child(ren)'s benefit amount in the column of the parent on whose eligibility the benefits are based.

Court File Number

The Court File Number is the number the court has assigned to this case. If no number has been assigned, leave this space blank.

Dental Coverage

Dental coverage is defined as dental benefits that are provided by a dental plan.


Enter the actual cost of dental coverage for the joint child(ren) if it is a separate amount from other health care coverage. Enter the amount in the column of the parent who provides the coverage.

Health Care Coverage

Health care coverage is defined as health care benefits that are provided by a health plan. This definition does not include medical assistance or MinnesotaCare.


Enter the actual cost of health care coverage for the joint children only in the column of the parent who provides the coverage.

IV-D Case

IV-D case is a case in which a party has assigned rights to the child support agency because the party is receiving public assistance or has applied for child support services.


The IV-D case number is a 12 digit number.

Joint Child(ren)

A joint child(ren) is the dependent child who is the child of both parents in the support proceeding. In cases in which support is sought from only one parent of a child, a joint child(ren) is the child for whom support is sought.


The calculator is only able to calculate a basic support amount for 6 or fewer joint children. If there are more than six joint children, the court may determine a support order without specifically following the guidelines.

Medical Assistance

Medical Assistance is Minnesota's Medicaid program for low-income families with children, seniors, and people with disabilities.


This is not a form of health care coverage. If either parent pays for health care coverage, select No.

MinnesotaCare

MinnesotaCare is a subsidized health insurance program for Minnesota residents who do not have access to affordable health care coverage.


This is not a form of health care coverage. If either parent pays for health care coverage, select No.

Monthly Gross Income

Monthly gross income is monthly income received, plus children's Social Security or Veterans' Benefits derived from a parent's eligibility plus potential income minus the spousal maintenance obligated to be paid and minus child support order(s) obligated to be paid for nonjoint children.


Gross income does not include child support received by a party, a spouse's income or public assistance benefits.

Monthly Income Received

Review monthly gross income.


The Monthly Income Received 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, 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.


Use gross salary and gross wage amounts before any deductions and before participation in any employer-sponsored benefit plan that allows an employee to pay for a benefit or expense using pre-tax dollars.


Multiply weekly income by 4.33 to arrive at a monthly amount.


Self-Employment Income: 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 required for self-employment or business operation. Self-employment does not include accelerated depreciation (ยง179), 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.

Nonjoint Child(ren)

Nonjoint child(ren) is the legal child(ren) of one, but not both of the parents in this support proceeding.


A parent may receive a deduction for a nonjoint child(ren) living in the parent's home. The deduction is allowed for a nonjoint child(ren) who 1) primarily resides in the parent's household, and 2) for whom the parent does not have an existing court order for basic support.


The maximum number of nonjoint children allowed is 2.


A Stepchild(ren) is not considered a nonjoint child(ren).

Parent A

Parent A is the name of the parent without primary physical custody or court-ordered parenting of 45% or less. If both parents share equal parenting time, Parent A is the parent with the higher income.

Parent B

Parent B is the name of the parent with primary physical custody or court-ordered parenting time of 55% or more. If both parents share equal parenting time, Parent B is the parent with the lower income.

Percentage of Parenting Time

Percentage of Parenting time is the amount of time the child(ren) is scheduled to spend with a parent according to a court order.


If there is a court order awarding parenting time, enter the appropriate percentage range.


If there is no court order awarding parenting time, enter "less than 10 percent"


If there is no court order awarding parenting time but an award of parenting time is expected in the court proceeding, enter the expected parenting time percentage.

Potential Income

Review monthly gross income.


Potential Income is defined as a parent who is voluntarily unemployed, underemployed or employed on a less than full-time basis, or if there is no direct evidence of any income, potential income may be used. This is in addition to any monthly income received. There is a presumption that a parent can be gainfully employed on a full-time basis.


Potential income is determined by one of three methods: 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.

Representative Payee

The Representative Payee is the parent who actually receives the Social Security or Veterans' benefits for a child, regardless of which parent is actually eligible for the benefits.


Social Security benefits or Veterans' benefits received by one parent as a representative payee for a joint child due to the other parent's disability or retirement are subtracted from the other parent's net child support obligation.

Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance is the court-ordered amount one spouse pays for the support and maintenance of the other. This amount can be for a former spouse or the spouse in the current action.


Spousal maintenance is included in the gross income of the party that receives it.


Spousal maintenance is a deduction from gross income for the parent who is ordered to pay it.


If Parent A pays spousal maintenance to Parent B:


Enter the amount Parent A pays in line 10 and enter that same amount as part of Parent B's monthly income received (line 6).

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