Minnesota Considering Child Support Overhaul

Minnesota is one of a dwindling number of states that base child support solely on the income of the non-custodial parent (NCP). Now the Minnesota legislature is considering changing that system to one based on income shares — taking the income of both parents into account. Here’s a story about it from Minnesota Public Radio.

There’s strong consensus in favor of changing the system to one that considers the income of both parents. The controversy revolves around an accompanying proposal to vary child support based on how much time the NCP spends with the child. As you’ve already read here, I have seen the effect of these “Dollars by the Day” plans, and it’s not pretty.

The scenario is this: the NCP, armed with the knowledge that he (and it usually is he) can pay less child support if he gets more visitation time, argues that the children should spend weeknights and extended summer days with him. The CP agrees, and the court sets the child support at a lower rate. Then the bargained-for extra visitation time never happens. The CP is left with the children to look after and lower child support.

I’m confident that this scenario isn’t present in every case in states where child support gets based on time spent, but I know for a fact that it occurs frequently, more frequently than any statistics have indicated. And ultimately, children are the losers.

2 comments

  1. Desiree says:

    So, your answer is to leave it the way it is where the father isn’t allowed to claim the child on his taxes, but has to claim the income he earned and be taxed on that income? SO we should also leave it to every other weekend because lord knows that is in the best interest of the child. Ohyes and let’s not forget the amount of the child support that is received. I don’t even get to spend that much money on my children each month.
    Do you have a master plan that is better or should we just leave it the old way where the father (and it is usually the father) gets screwed.

  2. Timothy William Arndt says:

    To Whomever cares:

    The Minnesota Family Law system is a failure. The system in
    this state has been amended so that single fathers voices have
    been silenced by our government. Here we believe in financial
    slavery. We believe that its ok to enrich the ex-spouse and
    its ok not to have any accounting of money given to that ex-
    spouse. This is why I do not believe in this system nor the
    old and outdated traditions that this system was founded on.
    Single men should unite and combine our voices to tell our
    disfunctional government that they are not only incorrect in
    their assumptions, but morally wrong as well. I believe a
    father has as much right to PARTICIPATE in all aspects of
    his childrens lives as the mother….without ANY exception.
    Excuses such as losing federal funding or court traffic
    increases are nothing more than that….excuses! Let’s face
    the overt truth of this matter. Our government still believes
    in this form of financial slavery. This is a bigger injustice
    than racism or homophobia or Iraq or the price of oil today.It This issue
    crosses all race lines and involves every man of child rearing
    age. It is simply the greatest injustice I have ever been
    exposed to in this country. Our presidential candidates
    havent once mentioned this problem in all the debates? They
    are simply unaware that the rules created by our government
    are distroying “families” everyday. The incentive for women
    comes when they get a divorce….they get money. Of course they
    going to take that route! Men are put into a continual state of
    of poverty that lasts around one third of their liftimes. Then
    our government wonders why the divorce rate is so high?

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