Definition of Child Support

Child Support is the contribution a parent makes for their children towards care, living expenses, and medical support.  Every child needs financial and emotional support and every child has the right to support from both parents. All of Minnesota's 87 counties are federally mandated to provide child support services for families.

The child support program helps:

  • children receive the following financial support:
  • Basic Support
Basic support is for expenses relating to the child's care, housing, food, clothing, and transportation.  The amount is determined by applying the parent's combined parental income for determining child support (PICS) and the number of joint children to the basic support guidelines table.  The basic support obligation does not include payment toward arrears.

  • Medical Support
Medical Support is the providing of health care coverage for a joint child by carrying health care coverage for the joint child or by contributing to the cost of health care coverage, public coverage, unreimbursed medical expenses, and uninsured medical expenses of the joint child.
  • Child Care Support
Child care support is contributing to the cost of work or education related child care costs.
  • families work toward becoming and remaining self-sufficient
  • parents establish a financial partnership