Child and spousal support are significant issues in a Minnesota divorce. These issues can be frustrating for everyone, and their resolution can impact your life for years to come. It is essential to have the help of an experienced Minnesota child support and spousal maintenance attorney in these matters.
Attorney Susan Mundahl has over 30 years’ experience in the practice of law, most of it in family law matters like child support and spousal maintenance. She and the other attorneys at Mundahl Law will help you understand how the law applies to your case, and will advocate for the most favorable outcome.
Child support law in Minnesota changed in 2007, and support is no longer tied to who has custody of the children. Instead, the law recognizes that both parents have a duty to support their children and uses a formula to calculate the Parental Income for Calculating Child Support (PICS). The formula now recognizes non-joint children and potential incomes.
The good news is that the new laws more fairly distribute the costs of raising children. Parents who have at least 10.1% parenting time are given a credit on their basic support obligation, to acknowledge that even having the kids for a few weekends a month is expensive. Child support includes not only basic support but medical support and childcare support contributions, and allocates the cost as a percentage of each parent’s income.
Spousal support, also called alimony or spousal maintenance, is not a windfall or a punishment. It is money that is awarded to help one spouse maintain an appropriate standard of living after divorce. Spousal support is determined during negotiations or litigation and the court makes the final decision as to how much spousal support will be paid, and for how long.
Spousal maintenance is separate from child support and child custody and should not be used as a bargaining chip. This is one area of the law that rests in the sole discretion of the court. The Minnesota Statutes state that the court is to consider the parties' respective incomes and necessary living expenses, the relative health of the parties, the ability on the part of the requesting spouse to be self-supporting, and the lifestyle of the parties' during the marriage. One judge recently said in chambers, "Spousal support is the ultimate coin toss for the court." Having an experienced Minnesota family law attorney in your corner can make a significant difference in the amount of spousal maintenance you pay or receive.
If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss your child or spousal support concerns, we are here to help. Located in Maple Grove, Mundahl Law serves Hennepin County and the surrounding areas of Minnesota, including St. Michael, Rogers, and Buffalo. We invite you to contact us online or via phone at (763) 575-7930. We look forward to working with you.