Janet L. Goehle, Attorney at Law
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What are the consequences of unpaid child support?

When families in Minnesota go through the divorce process, the non-custodial parent is often obligated to offer financial assistance in the form of child support. In the event that you are ordered to provide child support, you may be wondering what the penalties are for delinquent payments. To this end, there are a number of serious ramifications that can result, including the possibility of jail time.

The Minnesota House of Representatives lists a number of potential outcomes should you fail to keep current on your payments. For instance, if you repeatedly neglect to remit payments and other methods of enforcement have failed to afford the desired results, any licenses you hold related to hunting and fishing can be suspended. Your driver’s license and vehicle may also be in jeopardy once your unpaid support amount reaches a certain limit (i.e. three times the amount you are required to pay per month). In this case, any vehicles in your possession valued greater than $2,000 will be subject to a lien and a revocation of your license may occur.

Certain circumstances can also incur criminal charges should you fail to stay current on support obligations. The severity of the charge depends on how long you’ve failed to pay and the amount of money you currently owe. Felony charges are possible if you’ve gone more than 180 days without payment and back payments total nine times your monthly obligation. A court can also opt to hold you in contempt, which would result in being sentenced to jail, payment of a fine or both.

Of course there are other options available that can mitigate the above ramifications if you are unable to make regular payments. Payment agreements allow you to make your financial situation known to the court, which will take this into consideration when devising a re-payment plan. Doing so ensures your children receive the monetary assistance they need, while also preventing license suspension or vehicle title liens.

The above information is intended for educational purposes only and as a result should not be taken as legal advice. 

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