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Falling behind on child support? You could face serious penalties

In our last post, we discussed the fact that in Minnesota, parents can be denied education grants if they are behind on child support payments. However, this is just one penalty that can be triggered when support payments are missed.

There are a number of ways that courts in this state can enforce court-ordered child support. While they range in severity, these penalties can all take a toll on the lives and resources of parents.

To begin with, a number of licenses can be suspended. This includes your driver's license, an occupational license as well as hunting and fishing licenses. Without these licenses, you can find it challenging to get to work, earn a living and engage in recreational activities. Should you ignore a suspension, you could face additional penalties for a license violation.

Your financial delinquency won't necessarily be kept under wraps, either. In Minnesota, parents who are at least $10,000 behind in child support can have their names and identifying information released to the public in posters and online. Your employer and consumer reporting agencies can also be notified.

Failure to pay child support can also lead to contempt of court charges, according to Minnesota statutes.

However, it is critical to also remember that non-payment can be of detriment to your child. Child support allows a custodial parent to have some help when raising a child. Without this support, a child may go without certain things he or she needs or wants. Further, non-payment can send the message that you do not want to contribute to a child's well-being.

Rather than risk these and other penalties for delinquency, you can discuss your options with an attorney to seek a modification or repayment plan to get back on track. Acting quickly can help minimize or avoid the consequences of non-payment.

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Juvenile Criminal
Defense Strategies

Christa Jacqueline Groshek
© 2012 Aspatore Books from
Thomson Reuters Westlaw.
Reproduced by permission