In Minnesota, children have the right to financial support from both parents, even if the parents opt to dissolve their marriage. In the event of a divorce, a family court may order parents to meet their financial responsibility to children through child support. Courts make determinations regarding child support based on a variety of factors.
Multiple parties besides the child’s natural parents may request a child support order. For example, a third-party who has custody of a child, such as grandparents, may request child support, asking the court to order the child’s parents to provide it. In the event that a child’s parents receive public assistance, the local county attorney’s office may initiate a child support payment case. This is done when the parents are not living together.
A parent who equally shares custody of a child may still be ordered to provide child support. This generally happens if the child would suffer inadequate support without the child support order or when one parent earns significantly more income than the other parent does. When one parent requests the court to order child support payments, the requesting parent must be able to locate the other parent.
Child support may be an effective tool for parents to fulfill their children’s right to financial support. In this way, the best interests of the child is the intended driving force behind child support orders. Those who are seeking child support may struggle if they attempt to go through the process without an advocate or legal representation. It is prudent for these parents to retain the counsel of a family law attorney. The lawyer may not only help a custodial parent obtain a support order but also help ensure that an existing order is enforced.
Source: Minnesota Judicial Branch, “Basics on Child Support“, September 27, 2014