Janet L. Goehle, Attorney at Law
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How parenting time affects child support

Child support orders are awarded to ensure that noncustodial parents meet their financial obligations regarding the care of their children. However in Minnesota, parenting time can affect child support orders. Child support does not automatically grant or revoke the noncustodial parent’s right to visitation or parenting time. However, if the courts feel that parenting time is detrimental to the well-being of the children, visitation can be denied. Some parents may be able to have their child support orders modified if certain parenting time conditions are met.

According to the Minnesota House of Representatives, a parent who engages in 10 to 45 percent parenting time, and makes more money than the other parent, may not be court ordered to pay child support if it is not in the best interest of the child. Parenting time can be used to facilitate child support order adjustments, only if the parenting time was ordered by the courts.

When one parent makes more money than the other, the parent who has more income may be court ordered to pay child support to the lesser-earning parent, if both parents share parenting time equally. Child support orders for basic support may not be awarded when there is no difference in income between both parents and they share equal parenting time.

The Administration for Children & Families through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that child support is often awarded to parents who have visitation or parenting time orders in place. Noncustodial parents are more likely to honor their child support obligations when parenting time has been established by the courts. Many noncustodial parents “who pay child support are more likely to stay involved in their children’s lives.”

Parenting time is often decided in according to the best interest of the children. Parents who pay child support and share parenting time with custodial parents may be eligible to have their child support orders modified.

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