For Parents Who Pay Child Support

Information for Parents Who Pay Child Support

During these hard economic times, you may have been recently laid off or are making significantly less money and are now unable to meet your child support obligation. If you have previously been able to make your child support payments in a consistent and timely fashion, the following information may help you. Once a parent has applied for child support services, all payments must go through the Minnesota Child Support Payment Center. Get more information on payment options.

Below is a list of actions you can take to help you support your child /children, as well as some commonly asked questions.

Do I still have to pay support if I no longer have a job?

Your child support order does not automatically stop when your source of income ends. If you expect being unemployed for a long period of time, you may change your child support order.

It takes a new court order to change the existing court order.

Will I still owe back payments?

A change to a court order is effective from the date someone files the legal paperwork with the Court to modify child support. If you owe past support for periods prior to a modification, that past support remains owed. Retroactive adjustments to child support cannot be made unless both parents agree. If you are laid off and do not change your child support order, you will accrue child support arrearages that remain owed. The child support office will use the remedies available to collect child support arrearages.

What if I start receiving unemployment benefits or worker’s compensation?

Child support is deducted from these types of income. If these payments are less than the amount you were earning, it is important to take steps to change your child support order.

What do I do if my court order is set to have a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) this year?

If you can prove your income did not increase, you may request a court hearing asking that the COLA increase not take effect. The documents you will need for filing your motion, along with frequently asked questions about COLA, can be found on the Minnesota Courts website.

Other Resource Options

Here are some other resources you may qualify for:

Contact the Economic Assistance Unit in the county you reside to find out more about programs you might qualify for. More information is also available through the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Families of Veterans

Information for Veterans and Veterans’ families: