Child Support - Services

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 has ordered a person to pay child support.
  • Child support services are available to:

  • • Parents of minor children, if one parent does not live with the child
  • • Parents who pay child support through court-ordered income withholding
  • • People who have court-ordered, physical custody of a minor child
  • • People who receive public assistance for a minor child who lives in their home.
  • Child support agencies provide services for:

  • • Locating parents
  • • Establishing parentage
  • • Establishing court orders for basic support, medical support, and child care support
  • • Enforcing court orders for support
  • • Reviewing and modifying court orders for support
  • • Working with other states to enforce support when one parent does not live in Minnesota
  • • Collecting and processing payments.
  • Child support agencies do not help with:

  • • Divorces
  • • Parenting time and custody
  • • Spousal maintenance (alimony) establishment
  • • Legal advice or counsel.
  • Child support agencies and county attorneys do not represent either parent in child support court actions. Instead, they represent the best interests of the child according to the requirements of child support statutes and guidelines. In Minnesota, parents can also use an expedited process to resolve child support matters where they can represent themselves.


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