If you are entitled to child support based on a ruling by a Minnesota court, there are multiple steps you can take to seek recompense for delinquent payments. Here is an overview of the ways the missing payments may be fulfilled.
According to the Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department, either parent may seek a six-month review of any child support order implemented after January 1, 2007. In these cases, the court determines not only whether child support payments are current but also whether both parties are meeting the established parenting requirements. Thus, if the obligor has fallen behind in support payments, you may be eligible as the obligee to seek a review.
During this process, the court first endeavors to find the obligor. Both parents generally are required to provide updated location and identification information, including changes of address, employment, and Social Security and driver’s license numbers, to the child support office within 10 days of the change. Additionally, employers are required to report new hires (with limited exceptions) to the Department of Human Services. These records provide a valuable resource for locating obligors who are in arrears on child support payments.
In many cases, child support is automatically withheld from the obligor’s income. If this is not the case with your child support order, however, the court may choose to implement automatic withholding when there is proof that previous payments have been late or inconsistent or if the obligor has indicated that he or she intends to reduce payments or cease them altogether. Furthermore, the DHS may report the issue to the obligor’s credit agencies or request that the Minnesota Department of Revenue intercept tax credits and refunds.
The court also may decide to bring a civil judgment against the obligor, which means placing a lien on his or her real property, homestead or even a motor vehicle that is worth more than $2,000. The judgment may increase in direct proportion with the payments owed. If the obligor owes you at least triple the monthly required support amount, he or she also may face suspension of various licenses, including occupational, recreational and driver’s licenses. If the obligor continuously fails to comply with the terms of the child support order, he or she may be held in contempt of court or face criminal charges.
This information is provided for information purposes and is not intended as expert legal advice.