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When a parent fails to pay child support

When divorced Minnesota parents are unable to pay the child support that they owe to the custodial parent, the obligation does not go away. In fact, a noncustodial parent can still owe the back child support even after the child becomes 18 or becomes emancipated.

Child support debt never goes away and cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Even if the child reaches the age of majority, the noncustodial parent will still be held responsible for making the payments and paying back the debt in full, even if the child is no longer being financially supported by the custodial parent.

There are several tactics that the court can use to child support that is owed. One of the most common ways is for enforcement officials to garnish wages from the noncustodial parent's paycheck. If the parent gets paid under the table or quits the job to avoid paying, enforcement officials can also place liens on property, seize tax refunds and revoke drivers' licenses and other forms of I.D. In some cases, the parent may even be sentenced to jail for attempting to avoid paying the debt.

If a parent fails to pay the child support that they owe as ordered by the court, they could face strict penalties. If a noncustodial parent's financial situation changes and prevents them from making the payments, a family law attorney may help. The attorney may seek to have the court order modified and gather the parent's financial records and other evidence, such as medical bills, to provide proof that the parent is trying to fulfill the financial obligations but is simply unable to.

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Juvenile Criminal
Defense Strategies

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