Child Support

Every child needs financial and emotional support and every child has the right to support from both parents.

Child support is money a parent is court-ordered to pay to their child’s other parent or caregiver for the support of the child. The support may be part of an interim, temporary, permanent, or modified court order in a:

  • • Divorce or legal separation
  • • Paternity action
  • • Order for protection
  • • Child custody action
  • • Separate child support action.
  • A person can receive child support if all of the following apply:

    The person is the parent of a minor child or is the person who has court-ordered custody of the minor child.

  • • The minor child lives in the person’s household.
  • • The child is financially dependent on that person.
  • • One or both of the child’s parents are absent from the home.
  • • A court ordered a person to pay child support.
  • A parent may apply or be referred for child support services .

    Child Support Program

    Minnesota’s child support program benefits children by enforcing parental responsibility for their support.

    The Minnesota Department of Human Services, Child Support Enforcement Division supervises the child support program. County child support offices administer it by working with parents to establish and enforce support orders. The child support program helps:

  • • Children receive the financial basic support, medical support, and child care support they deserve
  • • Families work toward becoming and remaining self-sufficient
  • • Parents establish a financial partnership.
  • Private information

    Anyone can ask for public data. Case-specific child support information is classified as private data under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act. The Act restricts child support workers from sharing case information unless they are authorized.

    Private data on individuals or nonpublic data not on individuals can be given to:

  • • The person who is the subject of the data
  • • Others who the law says can see the data
  • • Anyone the person who is the subject of the data says, in writing, can see the data.
  • Releasing Private Information

    If you want the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the county child support office to give private information concerning your child support case to a third party, such as your current spouse, attorney, relative or friend, you must authorize it. Complete the Authorization for Release of Child Support Information to a Third Party (PDF) to allow private information to be released. Fax or mail the authorization to the child support worker you want to release the information.

    Topics of Interest

    DHS image The Minnesota 2013 Child Support Performance Report (PDF) provides data for Federal Fiscal Year 2013 (which is October 1, 2012 – September 30, 2013) on state and county information related to the federal performance measures, collections and caseloads, ranking, comparisons, and other useful information about Minnesota’s Child Support program and services.

    For employers—File Upload is an enhancement to Minnesota Child Support Online (MCSO). File upload allows employers to submit one child support payment file for all of their employees rather than enter each employee individually. There is no cost for using File Upload. Before payments can be submitted using File Upload, your business must be registered on MCSO.

    For parents—Child Support ezDocs is now available to Minnesota child support participants. Child Support ezDocs is an interactive web tool that participants can use to request a review of their child support order, respond to an active review of their child support order or complete the pro se forms for child support modifications.

    The Power of Two video is now online. The video explains voluntary paternity establishment through the Recognition of Parentage (ROP) process. A Recognition of Parentage form allows unmarried parents to establish a legal father (paternity) for their child.

    Email updates - The Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) now offers a new Email Update service that sends automatic email notices regarding useful child support program information to subscribers. Anyone with an email address can subscribe. You can subscribe via the link on this page. When you subscribe you will receive a confirmation email and you must respond to it in order to activate your subscription.

    County performance in context is a new interactive Web feature providing citizens the tools to compare Minnesota counties on 11 measures related to the well-being of children and families, get profiles of these measures, and view various demographic and economic indicators. It provides measures on the child support paternity establishment rate and collections rate.


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