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March 2016 Archives

New Significant Changes In Child Support Laws Effective Today!

For years as Minnesota practitioners in family law we have been using 1.5 times the minimum wage (current federal or state, whichever is higher) for determining the potential income of a parent when we have very little or no recent employment data upon which to base his or her income for child support purposes. This rate would then be multiplied by 40 hours per week except in certain industry exceptions. Today, effective March 1, 2016, Minnesota Statute Section 518A.32 changed to lower the amount to "30 hours per week at 100 percent of the current federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher." The impact of the change is not entirely clear based on Minnesota's differentiation between small employers and large employers and the current federal minimum wage matching the Minnesota small employer minimum wage which is lower than the Minnesota large employer minimum wage. Currently, the federal minimum wage and Minnesota small employer minimum wage are both $7.25 per hour, with the Minnesota large employer minimum wage currently at $9.00 per hour. Using the federal/small employer rate the potential monthly income using this method falls from $1,884 to $942 gross per month. However, effective August 1, 2016 the Minnesota small employer minimum wage is scheduled to increase to $7.75 and the large employer minimum wage will increase to $9.50 per hour.

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