Before diving into the heart of this, it is important to understand how a monthly child support obligation is broken down. A child support obligation takes into account three different payments: basic child support, medical support, and childcare support. Basic child support is for the basic needs of a child (e.g., food, shelter, clothing). Medical support is for the child’s health and dental insurance premium costs and unreimbursed/uninsured expenses. Last but not least, childcare support is for work-related and/or education-related childcare costs. Each family has different needs and the child support obligation of a parent will change based on the monthly child related costs (medical/dental and childcare) and the monthly gross income of each parent.

Minnesota Child Support laws currently require an obligor (person paying child support) to fall into one of three ranges of parenting time: less than 10%, 10-45%, or 45.1-50%. In a nutshell, an obligor has to fall into one of three ranges. However, legislation proposed under H.F. 2889 is looking to change that.  

The proposed change would get rid of the three ranges outlined above. Instead, child support would be calculated on the exact number of overnights that each parent would have on an annual basis. Ideally, this change in the law would prevent parents from fighting over parenting time based on the three ranges. The proposed law provides an additional break for each additional overnight, and it will not force an obligor to fall into one of the three very broad ranges.

How does this all play out?

I ran child support calculations based on the current method and the new, proposed method. The results are not drastically different, but understand that the below numbers only reflect the basic child support obligation. These calculations do not incorporate medical support or childcare support obligations.

The numbers used:


Parent A

Parent B

Parenting Time

91 Overnights Per Year or 25% Parenting Time

274 Overnights Per Year or 75% Parenting Time

Gross Monthly Income



The Results?


Current Guidelines

Proposed Guidelines

Monthly Basic Child Support Obligation for Parent A



As you can see, there is $59/month difference between the current and proposed method of calculating basic child support. The formula provides that, as the obligor receives more parenting time, his/her obligation will go down. The reduction in basic child support will depend on the number of days allocated to each parent.

If you have any questions about how this change could affect your child support payments, please call me today at 952-800-2025 or reach out via our online contact form to set up your free consultation.

Schedule now

Share This Article