Janet L. Goehle, Attorney at Law
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How do I pursue delinquent payments for child support in MN?

When a couple in Minnesota shares a child but is no longer together, it is possible that one will be ordered to pay child support to the other, known as the custodial parent. While most parents want to ensure that their children are cared for appropriately, and that the payments are made in a timely fashion and in their proper amount, there are times when a parent doesn't pay what he or she is supposed to. This can be for a variety of reasons. In this case, the custodial parent has options to pursue the delinquent payments.

If one of the parties involved makes the request, there can be a "6-month review hearing." This can be held at some point in the six months of the initial order for child support. This hearing is when the participants can meet with either a magistrate or a judge to ensure the order is being adhered to. If there is a dispute more than six months after the order, this is not an option. With the initial order for child support, there should be an attachment regarding a review hearing.

Other possibilities to try and make certain that the supporting parent will keep up with the payments include the following: a driver's license suspension; an occupational license suspension; a motor vehicle lien; a recreational license suspension; a child support judgment; or a contempt of court order. The contempt of court motion is applicable if the supporting parent continually refuses to obey the order to pay, was aware of the order, and didn't have a viable reason for not paying. The parent can possibly be incarcerated for non-payment.

The idea behind child support is not to punish a parent, but to make certain that the child is adequately cared for. Child support enforcement is in place so the custodial parent is able to take steps to receive the payments he or she is owed. The state has laws in place so parents will pay on time and in the amount that is supposed to be paid. If there is an issue with delinquent payments of child support and the custodial parent is not receiving the money that was agreed to, a legal professional can be of assistance.

Source: mncourts.gov, "How to Enforce a MN Child Support Order," accessed on Feb. 23, 2015

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