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Child Support

Child Support is money absent parents pay to help support their children.  The Court orders the support.  The support may be part of an interim, temporary, permanent, or modified Court order in the following:

  • Divorce
  • Paternity action
  • Order for Protection
  • Child custody action
  • Separate Child Support action

You may receive Child Support if you are the parent of a minor child or are the person who has Court-ordered custody of a minor child, if the minor child lives in your home, if one or both parents are absent from the home, or if the Court has ordered the amount of Child Support.

young child playing with toy

Minnesota’s Child Support Program Services

  • Locating parents
  • Establishing parentage
  • Establishing Court orders for Child Support
  • Providing medical, dental, and child care support
  • Reviewing and modifying Court orders for Child Support
  • Adjusting Court orders based on the cost-of-living index
  • Enforcing Court orders for the child
  • Working with other states to enforce support when one parent does not live in Minnesota
  • Collecting and processing payments

Services that are not provided

  • Divorce assistance
  • Parenting time or custody mediation/resolution
  • Spousal maintenance (alimony) order establishment
  • Legal advice or counsel

If you are not receiving public assistance, you can apply for Child Support services through the County Child Support Office.  There is no longer an application fee for applying for child support services.  If you are receiving public assistance and you are the custodial parent of a minor child and the other parent does not live in your home, you are automatically referred for Child Support Services.

You must take an active role in your case.  Your cooperation with the Child Support Office improves the successful support establishment and collection.  You must report changes that affect your case.

Contact your Child Support worker

  • If you or the other parent moves

  • If you or the other parent get a new phone number or job.

  • If the number of children living in the home changes.

  • If there is new information that might help locate the other parent.

  • If you apply for public assistance.

  • If you are involved in other Court actions regarding support payments.

If you are receiving public assistance, you must also assign some or all of your Child Support to the State.  If you receive Child Support directly, you must report it.  If paternity needs to be established or the non-custodial parent needs to be located, you must cooperate with the office by providing correct information.  If you do not cooperate with paternity or Child Support, your public assistance benefits may be reduced.  If the State makes a mistake and overpays you, you must repay the State for the overpayment.

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