Establishing Child Support Orders

Minnesota law uses a formula to calculate child support payments. The formula uses both parents' gross incomes. The state of Minnesota has an online Guidelines Calculator to help you estimate the amount of child support that the court may order in any given case.

What a child support order covers 

  • Basic support: The court will determine the amount of financial support to be paid considering the income of each parent and applying the child support formula as required in Minnesota law. 
  • Medical support: The court may order a parent to provide health and dental insurance for children or make a payment toward the cost of insurance coverage or medical expenses.  If public assistance, such as MinnesotaCare or Medical Assistance, is provided to the child(ren), the court may order a contribution to the cost of public coverage. The court may also decide how payment of uninsured medical and dental expenses will be divided between the parents. 
  • Childcare support: The court may order a parent to pay all or part of work or school-related childcare (daycare) expenses. 
  • Past support:  In some cases, the court may also order support for a period of up to two years prior to the start of the child support lawsuit. If public assistance has been expended through cash (MFIP or TANF), Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare, or child care assistance, past support may be ordered as reimbursement of the public assistance expended. 

Getting a child support order 

For more information on child support calculations and establishing a court order, go to the Minnesota Department of Human Service website.

Changing a child support order

Only the court can change the amount of court-ordered basic support, childcare, and medical support. 

Cost-of-living adjustments 

Most Minnesota child support orders include an automatic adjustment to the amount of support every two years based on the cost of living.