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Who is financially responsible for raising a child in Minnesota?

Last month, this blog discussed the Recognition of Parentage, which is a legal form entered into by the child's unwed parents who are not currently in a relationship with each other. The Recognition of Parentage establishes the legal relationship between the biological father and the child. A Recognition of Parentage in Minnesota does not automatically order a parent to pay child support. For that to happen, a child support order must be sought from the court.

In fact, each parent is responsible for supporting their child, financially and emotionally, even if the parents are no longer in a relationship with one another. If the parents live apart, the custodial parent cares for the child's needs and the noncustodial parent may be required to pay child support.

What does child support include? It includes basic support, such as support for food, shelter, clothing and other expenses that come with raising a child. It also includes support for medical care, dental care and child care. If a parent is ordered to pay child support, he or she may be ordered to pay support going back to either the past two years or the date on which the child was born, whichever is earlier. A father paying child support may also have to pay for costs associated with the mother's pregnancy and childbirth. Finally, if a parent is ordered to pay child support, he or she may have to provide reimbursement of public assistance that was used for the child's benefit, going back to either the past two years or the date on which the child was born, whichever is earlier.

Signing a Recognition of Parentage and filing it with the court is only one way that an unwed father can establish a legal relationship with his biological child. Unwed parents who have questions about establishing paternity, applying for child support and what such support covers can always consult with a Minnesota family law attorney.

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