As any Minnesota parent can tell you, once a child is born a great deal of their parents’ income goes toward feeding, clothing, sheltering and educating the youngster. When one parent does not live with his or her child, it can be a struggle for the custodial parent to afford the things necessary to set the child on the course toward a happy, healthy future.

When a judge issues an order for a noncustodial parent to pay child support, he or intends the money to go toward the child’s living expenses. In part, the calculation of how much the parent must pay is based on what the custodial parent needs to help cover things like:

  • Housing, food, clothing and education for the child
  • Health and dental insurance
  • Day care

Other factors include how much time the child spends with the paying parent, either under shared custody or through parenting time.

Another factor is how much the parent can afford to pay. Each parent is presumed to be able to earn an income, unless they demonstrate otherwise. As time goes on, that parent’s ability to pay may increase or decrease, due to changes in job status and income. Either parent can go before a judge or child support magistrate to request a modification.

No responsible parent wants their children to do without, simply because the parent lives in another home after divorce. Paying child support is a way of ensuring that kids suffer no financial hardship due to their parents no longer being together.