Three types of child support
Basic support is for expenses relating to the child's basic needs, such as housing, food, clothing and transportation.
Medical support may include health care coverage (which may include dental and vision coverage); or to reimburse the government if the child is on Medical Assistance; or to pay a portion of the child’s uninsured, unreimbursed medical or dental costs.
Child care support
Child care support is for child care costs.
How support is set
Support is determined using both parents' monthly gross income and court ordered parenting time. If both parents agree on a child support amount, the child support office may help make the agreement official with a court order.
If a parent is required to support more than one family, the child support office must send payments to all of the families who are owed support.
Medical and child care costs are divided between the parents, based on each parent’s income.
Getting clarity on the child support
Use the State of Minnesota’s parenting time calendar to count the number of court-ordered overnights each parent has with their children when parents don't live together. Then, estimate your child support with the State of Minnesota’s guidelines calculator. For an accurate estimate, you will need good information about the other parent's finances.
How parents pay
Income withholding is the most common way of paying, where support is taken directly from the parent’s paycheck. Employers are required to report all new hires, which helps the child support office know when to withhold income. It may take as long as 45 days to receive an initial payment from a new employer.
If income withholding is not an option, you may choose from several payment options: online using Minnesota Child Support Online, with cash using PayNearMe or MoneyGram; mail; or through automatic withdrawal.
Do not send your child support payment directly to the custodial parent. The Minnesota Child Support Payment Center needs a record of the payment.
More information on payment options
How parents receive payments
The Minnesota Child Support Payment Center sends collected support to the parent within two days of receipt. You may choose to receive support by direct deposit into a checking, savings or stored value card account.
Missed or late payments
If a parent does not make their payment on time, the child support office may take the following actions:
- Suspend the person’s driver’s and occupational licenses
- Intercept income and property tax refunds and lottery winnings
- Report unpaid balances to credit bureaus
- Refer a case for criminal prosecution
If your situation changes, such as job loss, it is critical you contact your child support worker to discuss possible solutions.