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Minneapolis Custody & Visitation Law Blog

How is child support calculated in Minnesota?

Under Minnesota law, children have the right to receive support from both parents, and financial support in the form of child support may be ordered by the court. A child's parent or a guardian, such as a grandparent, has the right to request child support. Additionally, the county attorney's office may start a case when parents are not living together or married and either parent is receiving public assistance.

If support is ordered, the amount of payments are often determined based on child support guidelines, which use the income of both parents, how many children are to be supported and the costs associated with raising and caring for those children. It is important to note that, under the guidelines, the amount of time that a paying parent spends with their children can impact the amount of support they are obligated to provide.

Visitation rights of grandparents

Grandparents in Minnesota who have been denied access to their grandchildren may be interested to learn what rights they have. Although laws vary from state to state, every state will allow grandparents to petition the court for the right to see their grandchildren. How easily these visitation rights are granted will depend greatly on whether the state has permissive visitation statutes or restrictive visitation statutes.

When a state has permissive visitation laws, a non-parent can seek visitation rights to a child while both of the child's parents are living and married. A grandparent wishing to seek visitation in a state with restrictive visitation laws would only be allowed to do so if the parents of the child were divorced or at least one of the parents was deceased.

Understanding ex parte child custody motions in Minnesota

Minnesota parents who are dealing with child custody issues may be interested in the rules surrounding emergency custody-related court hearings. These hearings do not require notice to the other party, but they are subject to strict requirements.

In many cases, child custody issues are resolved through the court system, with both parties getting proper notice of a hearing on the issue. However, some issues demand resolution through an emergency "ex parte" hearing, meaning that a court hears the issue without properly notifying the other party. Some common reasons for such a hearing include temporary custody or child support orders, temporary orders to prevent the sale of property or restraining orders that deny access to the family residence when the child or parent is in danger from the other party.

Legal help with paternity

In Minnesota, a biological father does not have rights to his child if he is not married to the mother unless he can prove that he is the father. This can be established through a recognition of parentage or a DNA test. The father will then gain the privileges of visitation and the right to seek custody but will be held responsible for child support.

Our law office understands that dealing with family matters, including paternity, needs to be addressed through a holistic approach. We realize how important your rights as a parent are to you. We will discuss your case with you and provide you with the relevant information and available options. We want to help you achieve your goals and assist you as you move forward in your relationship with your child.

Sorting out the issues regarding paternity and fathers' rights

Minneapolis fathers may be interested in learning about the legal definition of paternity and how it is established. Paternity can have a large impact on both a father's rights and the rights of the child with regard to support, education and other important life decisions.

Under the laws of Minnesota, "paternity" is the name given to the concept of legal fatherhood. While a child has a biological father if he or she was born to an unmarried couple, the child has no legal father. Even a birth certificate is not enough to establish paternity in those cases. Paternity can be established in one of two ways: either through filling out and filing a Recognition of Parentage form or by an order from the court. The ROP form simply acknowledges the child's biological parents. If the father is unwilling to sign the form, a paternity action must be brought in court seeking an order from a judge. This process may require genetic testing to discover if the man is the child's biological father.

When grandparents may have visitation rights

In Minnesota, when a child's parents may not be able to provide the care that they need, they may be placed into foster care or be adopted by another family. However, the child's grandparents may still wish to be in that child's life. In some cases, the grandparents may be able to seek visitation in order to remain bonded with their grandchild.

There a number of conditions that must be met before grandparents may be awarded visitation. The marital status of the parents is one of these considerations, as it may not be appropriate for the grandparents to be awarded visitation if the couple is not married. Marital status may not be considered, however, if the child lived with the grandparents for a certain amount of time. Additionally, if a parent is deceased, the grandparents may be awarded visitation. Regardless of whether the statutory conditions are met, the grandparents must still prove that visitation is in the best interest of the child. In Minnesota, if the child is adopted by someone outside the family, the grandparents' visitation rights are terminated.

Minnesota law regarding custody judgments

Courts in Minnesota are to follow a set of rules found in section 518.17 of the Minnesota Statutes when making child custody decisions. The statute defines a variety of factors to be examined thoroughly in order to pass rulings that benefit children and protect them from abuse.

The statute first defines the best interests of a child, going into detail regarding 13 specific factors that could promote or diminish a child's general well-being and stability. For instance, the wishes of parents and of children deemed old enough to show preference are evaluated along with factors such as a child's social adjustment and his or her cultural background. It also orders courts not to consider a prospective custodian's conduct outside of what could affect that person's relationship with the child.

Child support reimbursement sought by grandparent

Although it is not uncommon for parents to be held responsible for their minor children's financial issues, Minnesota residents may be surprised at the situation facing a Florida woman. The woman's son was a minor when his daughter was born, and a court order was issued in 2013 in Highlands County requiring her to pay $254 per month in child support for her granddaughter. The order also imposed costs for back support dating to the girl's birth in December 2012. The woman has paid more than $3,000 and does not have access to the child.

The woman's son reached the age of legal responsibility for the child in January, but she has continued to deal with a monthly deduction. Her son is endeavoring to find a job so that he can support his daughter and says that he does not know where the child is currently located. Meanwhile, his mother is currently receiving assistance with the case from a community advocate.

Fathers who don't pay child support busted by social media

Flashy Facebook pictures posted by some fathers in Minnesota and around the country are getting them in trouble for nonpayment of child support. According to one single mother in Wisconsin, her 5-year-old daughter's father regularly posts photos of himself holding stacks of cash in his custom car. Meanwhile, the mother has received only one of the monthly $100 payments he is supposed to make for the care of their child.

The assistant district attorney for the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office says that social media has become a useful tool for determining which fathers have the resources to pay child support and which ones don't. Because failure to pay child support is only a crime when the father has the means to pay but fails to do so, examining some social media posts can be vital for determining who is breaking the law.

Child support skyrockets for wealthy women

The affluent women of Minnesota and around the country are likely to be court-ordered to pay large child support payments to their exes. If a woman's career means that she earns most of the household income and her relationship ends, a judge may decide the issue of child custody and support. Like actress Halle Berry, the woman may be required to be the major supporter of the couple's children.

Berry's child support was agreed upon and set at $16,000 in monthly payments, which she pays to the father of her daughter. The two have joint custody of the 6-year-old, but Berry also pays $30,000 each year for the child's private education and shares health care costs with her ex. This might sound excessive, but at roughly $200,000 per year, it may only be a small percentage of her annual income.

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