Whether they are divorced or were never married, Minnesota parents should know some facts about child support. For those who are unwed, it is important to establish paternity as early as possible so that the child can begin receiving support from the father. A mother who needs to establish paternity may be able to get assistance from the Minnesota Department of Human Services’ Child Support Division.
Both parents are responsible for supporting the child through emancipated. Either the mother or the father may be ordered to pay child support. Payments should be made through the local child support office because this ensures that there is a record. Furthermore, if one parent does not pay support, the office can assist the other parent in getting an order enforced.
If a parent’s income changes, this may affect how much child support is to be paid in the future, but the parent cannot simply stop making payments. It is necessary to file for a child support modification, and the parent must continue paying the amount originally agreed upon until the court agrees to change the amount. Parents should keep in mind that failing to pay support can result in their wages being garnished, a driver’s license suspension or even more severe penalties that might include jail time.
Parents who are dealing with the issue of support may want to work with their respective family law attorneys to try to reach a solution before turning to litigation. The process of determining child support is usually based on state guidelines, but parents may want to attempt to agree on a figure rather than placing the decision in the hands of a judge.