Child support requirements and regulations can vary from state to state. If the child moves from one state to another, the requirements for child support may change. While the states may have similar child support laws, it is important to know their variations to make sure that you do not face penalties.
Who Needs to Pay Child Support?
In the state of Minnesota, child support would be the amount of money it costs to raise a child. The parent that is legally responsible to pay for the child support is the parent that spends the less time with the child. However, both parents remain legally responsible for the child until the child reaches the age of majority or is 18.The parent with primary physical custody and take care of the child most or all of the time would be the parent who would receive the child support payments because they need the support to raise the child. If the parent has partial custody, then the support is calculated depending on the amount of time and costs each parent is obligated for in raising the child.
How Do You Petition for Child Support?
To petition for child support payments from the other parent in Minnesota, the custodial parent must live in the state for at least 180 days before the petition. The parent who wants to petition or enforce child support must establish paternity first. If paternity has been established, the court can order child support payments as part of a divorce, legal separation, paternity, domestic abuse or child support lawsuit. Parents who want to enforce child support can apply for enforcement services through the County. The county will then assign a child support worker to the case and help collect the child support. Make sure to keep the child support worker informed of any name or address changes. If the other parent changed jobs, notify the child support worker about the new employer.
What If You Don’t Pay Child Support?
If a parent does not pay child support that is due in Minnesota, family court judges have powerful legal tools to obtain the past-due payments from the obligating parent. However, in Minnesota, the tools can only be used if the parent was given sufficient notice and opportunity to pay the past-due amount.
Some legal action that can be taken if child support is not paid is:
- Judge can file legal action and hold parent in contempt of the court
- Can report parent with past due payments to credit bureaus, which will hurt their credit
- Can refer cases for federal prosecution
- Can garnish wages from employer
What Recourse Can the Other Parent Have if You Don’t Pay for Support?
Other than the fact that the court has legal action against a parent who is obligated to pay child support, the other parent also has some options against the other parent to collect child support. One main legal action the other parent can do is to get a wage garnishment order from the court to collect the unpaid child support payments. Again, the custodial parent can also get help from a state agency to collect the payments. Many in state recovery services are designed to help the custodial parent track down delinquent parents and recover the child support payments.
How Can You Stop Paying Child Support?
In order to stop paying child support in Minnesota, a parent must let the court know of the change or modification by filing a motion. The change can be due to decreased earnings, increased living expense, etc. An individual can also stop paying child support if they believe that they are not the father and they are not obligated to pay the child support. This has to be proven by an involuntary establishment of paternity. Involuntary establishment of paternity is done through a court proceeding where the court issues an “order of filiation,” which is an alternate way of saying paternity. This process is called “involuntary” because someone is disputing paternity. Through this process, if the father is established as not being the biological father of the child, he will no longer be obligated to pay any child support.
Where Can You Find the Right Lawyer?
If you are seeking to modify a child support order or need assistance in enforcing a parent to pay child support, it may be wise to speak with a local Minnesota child support lawyer to discuss your options, especially if you are planning to go to court. Consulting with an experienced family lawyer can help you understand your rights and help you deal with the complicated court system.