MN child support
Getting your head around Minnesota child support laws can be quite hard when you're dealing with the pain and struggles that accompany a divorce. This article will help you understand how the entire process works, whether you're seeking child support payments or you have to pay child support. It will help you understand how the application process works, how payment amounts are calculated and what may happen if the non-custodial parent can't be found or fails to pay the required amount
Establishment of MN Child Support Order
As long as the courts decide to establish a child support order, the other parent will then be legally bound to pay the required amount as calculated by the courts. Failure to do so can result in action being taken through the legal system and law enforcement authorities.
There is a child support calculator available of the Department of Human Services website. Use this calculator to get an idea of how much the child support payments are likely to be.
Be aware that child support services strictly help in dealing with the establishment and payment of child support. They can't help a non-custodial parent with getting access rights to spend time with a child. If the custodial parent is refusing you the right to see your child against the orders of the court, your best option is to get a lawyer and proceed through the proper legal channels to alter custody and visitation arrangements.
Locating a Non-Custodial Parent
If you're not sure of the whereabouts of the non-custodial parent but you want to seek child support payments, there are many things that can be done to track the other parent down.
If you're in this situation you want to collect up as much information about the parent's identity as you can get your hands on. This information – such as driver's license number, social security number, full name and date of birth – should be collected and handed in to the Department of Human Services when you apply for child support. They will then do what they can to track the parent down. They can also carry out a paternity test to verify whether a man is really the father of the child.
If a parent is in prison, this can further complicate matters. It is possible for an incarcerated parent to have payments suspended for the duration of their sentence, so they aren't required to make back payments when they are released. But in most cases, the original child support order will resume on their release from prison, or a new support order will be created after release to account for changes in circumstance.
MN Child Support Collection and Distribution
Minnesota child support payments are processed through the Department of Human Services – the non-custodial parent actually pays the money to the DHS, rather than paying directly to the other parent. The DHS then distributes the money to the other parent. This may seem unnecessarily complicated, but it's done to ensure proper records are kept of payments so that in the event of late payments or non-payment, the DHS can easily follow up on the non-custodial parent.
If you wish, you can simply make use of the DHS's income withholding services, rather than full child support services. That just means the DHS will take care of the payment processing, but not other aspects of your case such as tracking down the other parent, carrying out a paternity test or making adjustments to the payment amount when necessary.