Margaux C. Soeffker, LLC | Minnesota Family Law | Recent Changes to Minnesota Child Support Guidelines
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Recent Changes to Minnesota Child Support Guidelines

Minnesota’s Child Support Guidelines changed as of January 1, 2023. Updates include changes to the basic child support table calculations, updates to the Self-Support Reserve, updates to how non-joint children affect calculations, elimination of interest on child support arrears effective August 1, 2022, and changes to requirements for child support arrears to be reported to credit reporting agencies.

Child support orders will not be automatically reviewed. To modify, a motion must be filed and served, or if you have an open IV-D child support case (due to receipt of public assistance), you may ask the county to review your child support case. Your child support obligation may be modified based on this change in law, not needing any additional substantial change in circumstances.

As of August 1, 2022, the state is no longer charging interest to parents with past due child support payments. Minnesota’s Department of Human Services explained that this change will help parents eliminate or decrease debt, which hopefully means they would have more ability to pay outstanding child support.

More significantly, changes to how child support is calculated went into effect January 1, 2023. The intention is to make child support obligations more manageable. Support obligations for families with a joint income of less than $6,000 have been lowered. Additionally, parents with child support debt will now be able to enter into a payment agreement with the state before that debt is reported to credit agencies. Finally, the cap on combined incomes has been increased from $15,000 to $20,000 per month. This means that only the first $20,000 of combined monthly income of parents is used to determine a child support amount.

The calculator uses an “income shares” model taking into consideration both parents’ incomes. The previous guidelines were based on outdated economic data from 20 years ago, so the changes will better reflect current economic realities as well as the practical realities of evolving family structures.

As noted above, the state has changed how non-joint children are treated for purposes of calculating child support. A non-joint child is the legal child of one parent but not the other. A non-joint child does not include stepchildren. The new law provides for greater income deductions for up to six non-joint children per family. There are also new deductions for non-joint children when parents have a substantial responsibility for the non-joint child but there is no child support order in place. The statute has increased the number of non-joint children that a parent can claim from two to six. The amount of the deduction for non-joint children was increased from 50% of the guideline amount to 75%. This will provide some relief for families supporting non-joint children.

It’s difficult to gauge how effective these changes will be until the calculator is put to the test.