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Criminal prosecution for not paying child support in Minnesota

Many people in Minneapolis, Minnesota, have probably read stories about parents who have failed to pay child support for their children after they were divorced. In some cases, these people owe years of child support, yet they still continue to shun their responsibilities. Somehow, they have also managed to avoid being prosecuted for their delinquent payments. Child support is critically important for children of divorced parents in Minnesota, and every parent who has been ordered to pay child support must fulfill their obligation. If a non-custodial parent continues to abuse the system and not pay their required support, Minnesota's Child Support Office can refer the case to the U.S. Attorney's Office for federal criminal prosecution.

The Child Support Office in Minnesota will turn over a child support case to the U.S. Attorney's Office if the non-custodial parent who owes the support knows about their responsibilities and has had the capacity to make payments and deliberately fails to pay what they owe. They will also turn over any case after they have exercised all of their legal options, including holding the non-paying parent in contempt of court.The U.S. Attorney's Office places a high priority on prosecuting child support cases that meet specific criteria. These include prosecuting those non-custodial parents who have been found in contempt of court and owe at least $50,000 in child support payments. Additional criteria are prosecuting those non-custodial parents who move from one state to another in order to avoid their responsibilities and those who fail to pay support when they have at least one minor child. Of course, there are exceptions to every situation and the Minnesota Child Support Office will not refer a non-payment case to the U.S. Attorney's Office if the case meets some specific requirements. These include a court order that prohibits the U.S. Attorney's Office from any federal criminal prosecution against the non-paying parent and if the parent has gone into bankruptcy protection and is still covered by that order.

Source: mn.gov, "Federal criminal prosecution", May 3, 2015

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