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Understanding Overtime and Child Support Calculations in Minnesota

by | Jan 30, 2024 | Child Support |


Child support is a crucial aspect of ensuring children’s well-being in cases of divorce or separation. In Minnesota, as in many other states, child support is calculated based on various sources of income to determine the amount a non-custodial parent must contribute to the child’s financial needs. One common question that arises is whether overtime pay is included in the income calculation for child support purposes. Let’s explore this topic in-depth to gain a better understanding of how child support works in Minnesota, particularly concerning overtime pay.

1. The Importance of Child Support

Child support serves the primary purpose of providing for a child’s basic needs, including housing, food, clothing, education, and medical care. Child support is calculated based on the combined income of both parents and the number of children involved.

2. Determining Gross Income.

A parent’s gross income includes any form of periodic payment before taxes are deducted. Forms of periodic payments can include wages, commissions, salaries, unemployment benefits, annuity payments, and military pay.

3. Overtime Pay in Child Support Calculations

In Minnesota, income received for hours worked in excess of 40-hours a week (i.e “overtime”) is excluded from a parents’ gross income so long as the parent can demonstrate that the overtime began after the filing of a family court case, that the overtime is voluntary and not a condition of employment, and the overtime reflects an increase in the hours worked over the two years immediately preceding the filing.

Parents who have consistently worked overtime or where overtime is a condition of employment can likely expect a court to include their overtime in the calculation of their gross income for purposes of determining child support

3. Factors Considered in Child Support Calculations

When determining child support in Minnesota, the court considers various factors, including:

  • Both parents’ gross incomes, including regular wages, overtime, bonuses, commissions, and other sources of income.
  • The number of children involved in the case.
  • The parenting time schedule or custody arrangement.
  • The cost of health insurance for the child.
  • Childcare expenses necessary for the custodial parent to work or attend school.

4. Modifications Based on Overtime Pay

If a parent’s overtime pay fluctuates or is irregular, the court may apply an average of the overtime earnings over a specified period to calculate child support. This approach aims to ensure that child support orders remain fair and reasonable even when income varies.

5. Seeking Legal Advice

Navigating child support calculations can be complex, especially when overtime pay and other variable income sources are involved. If you are facing child support proceedings or have concerns about how overtime pay affects your child support obligations, it is essential to seek legal advice from a family law attorney experienced in Minnesota’s child support laws. An attorney can help you understand your rights and obligations, negotiate agreements, and ensure your child’s best interests are protected throughout the process.


In Minnesota, overtime pay may be included in the income calculation for child support purposes. To ensure you are well-informed and properly represented in child support proceedings, consult with a family law attorney who can guide you through the process and help you achieve a fair child support order that prioritizes your child’s best interests.