Minnesota Child Support
How to Apply for Child Support in Minnesota
Minnesota’s Department of Human Services offers services for parents hoping to establish a support order, parentage action or child custody action. A person qualifies for the support when they are the parent of a minor child, the minor lives in their household, the child is financially dependent on that parent and one or both of the parents are absent from the home. Parents will need to obtain an application for these services either online or from their local county child support office. You’ll need to entirely complete the form and return it to your county office in-person or by mail. Your request will be reviewed, and you will be contacted about the next steps in your case. Download Forms.
Minnesota Child Support Calculator
An appropriate amount of support will be determined by courts. If you want to calculate an estimate of what you may owe, then you’ll need to know both parents monthly income, how many children being supported, the monthly costs for childcare and medical expenses and the expected amount of parenting time you’ll be awarded.
How to Claim and Pay Child Support?
All payments must go through Minnesota’s Child Support Payment Center. You should never send payments directly to the other parent. Most payments are paid through income withholding which will be automatic. Other payment options include automatic withdrawal, e-payments, in-person cash payments or direct mail. Parents will receive their payments through direct deposit or by check.
Child Support Performance Stats for Minnesota
Data from 2013 suggested that about 28 percent of families in the state doesn’t receive their current child support orders. The fiscal year showed that an average of eight percent of back child support payments was successfully collected and distributed.
Statistics for Regular On-Time Payments Collection
Other Incentive Performance Measures
|Statewide Paternity Establishment (%)
|IV-D Paternity Establishment (%)
|Support Order Establishment (%)
Total Number of Children in the Child Support Program
Total Distributed Collections and Total Administrative Expenditures ($ Millions)
|Total Distributed Collections ($)
|Total Distributed to Families ($)
|Total Administrative Expenditures ($)
Average Collections per Case with Collections
Can the support be paid off early?
It may be possible to pay off payments early, but it’s best to consult with the county child support worker who is handling your case before making such a decision. Future circumstances may change requiring a modification of payment amounts.
What Will Happen if You fall Behind Child Support Payment?
- Automatic withholding of income
- Real property liens or judgment docketing
- Liens on motor vehicle titles
- Suspension of licenses (driver’s, recreational, occupational)
- Income tax interception
- Contempt of court charges
- Reporting a failure to pay to credit agencies
Can you get alimony and support at the same time?
Yes, Minnesota parents who have physical and primary custody of their children may receive both alimony and support from the non-custodial spouse.
Can you stop the support payments?
You can’t stop making payments unless your obligation has ended, you have paid all remaining debts and your support case is closed.
Child Support and Taxes
Most often, the custodial parent is entitled to claim the child as a dependent on their tax returns. This means that the custodial parent will receive the tax credit for the child. In Minnesota, district courts have the authority to allow non-custodial parents to claim the child or have the parents alternate years when it is in the best interests of the child.
Can the support payments be claimed on taxes in Minnesota?
No, payments are not tax deductible by the parent making payments, so they shouldn’t be claimed on your tax returns.
How does my child support affect my taxes in Minnesota?
Support is not considered as income for the parent who is receiving payments.
Can child support be taken pre tax?
No, the parent will pay their obligations out of his after-tax income, and parents are not permitted to change this rule even when they both are in agreement with it.
Can child support Take my federal tax return?
Yes, Minnesota’s child support office may intercept a non-paying parent’s federal income tax refund when the amount of past due child support is more than one month of payments and at least $500 is owed to the parent or $150 is owed to the state.
Paternity establishment involves creating a legal relationship between a father and his child where no legal relationship existed before. The mother’s marital status at the time of the child’s birth affects parentage because Minnesota law automatically recognizes the male spouse as the legal father when they are married. Otherwise, the father will need to establish parentage.
How do you establish paternity?
If the parents aren’t married, both parties will need to sign a Recognition of Parentage form and return it to the state’s Department of Health. Either parent can also ask the court to issue an order to establish paternity.
What rights does a father have if not on birth certificate?
While you may be the child’s biological father, only the child’s legal father will be given certain rights to custody and visitation. If the father is not on the birth certificate and the mother is unmarried, then the state assumes there is no legal father.
Can a mother refuse me paternity test?
If a father wants proof they are the biological father, then they have the right to request genetic testing through the courts even when the mother is refusing.
How to establish paternity if the father is deceased?
Minnesota courts recognize that there may be situations where paternity referrals should be made even when the parent is deceased. Parents will need to be make a referral to the IV-D agency and explain their situation.
Can a father get a paternity test without the mother?
Yes, Minnesota fathers can petition the court for a paternity action without the mother’s approval. The mother will be required to obey with court ordered requests for genetic testing where applicable
How long does a father have to establish paternity in Minnesota?
An acknowledgment or affidavit of paternity (AOP) can be signed at the hospital within 72 hours of the child's birth, or at the local health department. Both the mother and the father must sign the affidavit. Within 60 days of the signing the affidavit, however, anyone who is entitled to file a paternity case can file a case and ask for genetic testing
Support Order Establishment
Support will be ordered by a Minnesota district court judge, child support magistrate or district court referee. They will use the state’s guidelines and appropriate deviations to come to a basic support order amount. Orders can be appealed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Judges, referees, and magistrates can establish, enforce or modify orders.
State Child Support Orders
Currently, the federal government funds nearly 68 percent of Minnesota’s total child support enforcement funding, so the state must remain compliant with federal restrictions regarding the support orders. When a married couple with a child is granted a divorce, the court must, by law, enter a support order against at least one parent.
Can the support be modified?
Yes, support orders may be modified at any time when the parent has experienced a change in circumstances, medical coverage or income. Either parent can request a modification, but approved changes must go through the courts.
Modifications in Minnesota are available when there is a change in either parent’s income, the needs of the parent or child, the cost-of-living for either parent, increased medical expenses for the child or the child is emancipated.
How do I file for a modification of child support?
Either parent can file a motion to modify child support orders. Forms to request modifications are available either online or at a county court administrator office. These applications have step-by-step instructions for interested applicants.
Can a support order appealed?
If one parent is dissatisfied with the results of a family court matter, then they do have the right to appeal the decision. An appeal will be sent to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, but only a very small percentage of family court cases are overturned.
Do you need a lawyer to modify the support?
A lawyer is not required, but Minnesota’s child support office encourages parents to hire an attorney before proceeding with a legal action. You are legally allowed to represent yourself in court, but this presents its own challenges.
Child Support Enforcement
How long does the support enforcement take?
Processing times are affected by things like whether or not paternity needs to be established and if a non-custodial parent can be located.
What to do when the support is not paid?
When support isn’t being paid, a parent should contact their county child support office to report non-payment. Once you’ve reported the lack of payments, your caseworker may initiate a variety of enforcement measures against the non-paying parent.
What Happens if I’m not paying Child support?
Minnesota statutes explain that neither an interference with visitation nor unemployment are defenses for not making court-ordered payments. Failure to make payments may result in wage garnishment and revocation of drivers’ licenses.
How much overdue child support payment can be considered a felony?
Federal laws dictate that a willful failure to pay the support for at least two years or greater than $10,000 is a felony criminal offense.
Can the support debt be forgiven?
No, the support debt cannot be forgiven in Minnesota.
Support Order Termination
How do I stop a child support order?
File a modification request with the courts.
When Can I Apply for the Support Termination?
Child support orders end when the child turns 18 years old and has completed high school.
Can the custodial parent close a support case?
The custodial parent can close the case at any point, but the office will no longer help the parent collect support.
When Can I Stop Paying Child Support?
When the child turns 18 and has graduated high school. Parents must pay off all child support debt even after the child reaches the age of majority.
18 is the legal age of majority in Minnesota.
Minnesota Hearing Rights
In Minnesota, both parents and the child have the right to pursue a paternity action or apply for child support services.
MN Child Support Guidelines
Courts rely on Minnesota guidelines to establish an appropriate amount of support based on the financial circumstances of the paying parent and the number of children being supported. Although sometimes courts will award deviations, the awarded payments will usually be very close to the guideline amount.
Minnesota Child Support Coverage
What is the support meant to cover?
Basic support obligations are designed to cover needs like clothing, transportation, housing, food, and educational needs.
Does the Support Cover Medical Care Expenses?
Minnesota courts must address medical support. Parents may be ordered to provide health care, pay support each month towards health coverage costs or pay a portion of uninsured medical expenses.
What if Both Parents are working, will the Support Cover child care services?
When the child lives with a parent who works or goes to school, Minnesota courts must review the childcare costs incurred and determine each parent’s financial responsibility for these expenses.
Are Car Maintenance Costs Covered by the Support?
Transportation costs, when necessary for the child’s educational or childcare needs, may be considered as a cost that parents should split and covered under Minnesota child support laws.
What is Considered Basic Entertainment for Child Support?
Basic entertainment for children is age-appropriate activities designed to engage the youngsters.
Are College and School expenses Covered by the Support?
No, parents in Minnesota are not bound by a legal obligation to help support their child through college.
Yes, a child’s basic educational needs are supported by the non-custodial parent’s payments.
Are Extracurricular Activities covered by Support?
Most often, the custodial parent would cover expenses like extracurricular activities, but these costs will be partially offset with child support payments.
Minnesota Child Support Offices
|Minnesota Department of Human Services - Child Support Division
|St. Paul, MN
County Child Support Offices in MN
|Aitkin County, MN Health & Human Services - Child Support Unit
|204 - 1st Street NW, Aitkin, MN 56431
|Anoka County, MN Child Support Services Office
|2100 3rd Ave., Suite 401, Anoka, MN 55303
|Becker County, MN Human Services Office
|712 Minnesota Ave, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501