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My ex owes $10,000 in child support. How can I get him to pay up?


Raising a child is a rewarding but expensive proposition. Children require food, clothing, shelter and school supplies. They also have medical bills and extracurricular activities, and after high school, there is college. All of these can be too much for a single mother to pay for on her own, even with a full-time job. That's why both parents are expected to financially contribute to their child's care, according to Minnesota law. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. It is not uncommon for "deadbeat parents" to do anything they can to avoid having to pay child support. It is possible for the custodial parent to attempt to collect, but there is an elaborate process involved.

You will need to enter and docket a judgment against the owing parent (also called the obligor). This requires information about the obligor, a copy of the child support order and an official document that shows the current status of the support payments. You will then need to fill out two forms: Affidavit of Default of Child Support Judgment and Notice of Intent to Enter and Docket Child Support Judgment.

Next, make three copies of each document and have one set served to the owing parent. Note that you cannot serve the papers yourself. You must have an adult not involved in the case serve the papers. They must also notarize their signature and fill out the Affidavit of Service form. The final step is to file the appropriate paperwork with the court. You can view the entire process in detail here.

A support order may be not be the only way. A family law attorney can take a look at your unique situation and determine if there are any easier options to collect delinquent payments. You may be able to contact the other parent and reach an agreement that benefits both parties.


Source: Minnesota Judicial Branch, "How to Collect Unpaid Support," accessed Dec. 13, 2014

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