Minnesota Legal Blog

What happens if a parent does not pay child support?

On Behalf of | May 2, 2021 | Family Law |

During divorce proceedings, both parties must agree on child support payments. The court determines the amount required and the parent who must pay based on income; the needs of all children involved, including medical and educational needs; and how much time each parent has visitation or custody.

Generally, most parents pay child support as required by a divorce decree, but there may be situations in which a parent cannot or will not make support payments, which can result in one or more of the following enforcement actions in Minnesota.

Driver’s license suspension

If a parent misses child support payments, he or she may face a driver’s license suspension. The amount owed must three times the monthly amount required for this enforcement to take place.

Contempt proceedings

The court can hold a non-paying parent in contempt of court if the obligated parent has the ability to pay but chooses not to, but only if there is a written payment plan in place approved by the court, the arrears total three times the total monthly obligation or the divorce decree outlines the payment requirements.

Tax refund intercepts

The Minnesota child support office may also intercept federal and state tax refunds from parents who are in arrears. The office files a claim with the U.S. Department of Treasury for the exact amount owed.

There are other enforcement options in place to collect past-due child support from an obligated parent, so it is important to stay on top of payments to avoid any legal action.