Even though divorced parents in Minnesota and elsewhere attempt to work together to meet the needs of their children during dissolution and post-divorce, it can be difficult to sort through some issues together. Child support is often a contentious topic, making it difficult to come to a workable agreement at times.
The complex nature of a divorce and the natural ups and downs of the process can make it challenging on parents to meet all the needs of their children. Even though divorcing parents are working on a post-divorce plan that will allow them to transition to a two-home family, finances are often a focal point in this process. In order to meet the financial need of the children, a parent might request child support.
A man who fathers a child in Minnesota will typically be legally obligated to provide financial support for that child until the child reaches the age of majority. When a man denies he is the father of a child, the mother can compel him to submit to blood or DNA testing to determine paternity under Minnesota law.
Child support is a serious obligation in Minnesota. A parent who fails to pay court-ordered child support can face harsh consequences, including wage garnishment; fines and jail time for contempt of court; driver's license suspension; suspension of hunting and fishing licenses; and suspension of occupational licenses. In certain circumstances, the state or federal government can file criminal charges. Depending on the circumstances, these charges can be misdemeanors or felonies.
Minnesota courts can order a non-custodial parent to pay child support in a divorce action, a paternity action, a separate action for child support or in other situations where a parent is absent from the child's home. But, how are child support payments typically made? The answer will depend in part on whether the public child support authority is involved.
Minnesota child support cases can be contentious and difficult. In some instances, there are unusual circumstances surrounding them. In others, they will be high-profile and the participants will not only have to deal with the details of the support agreement and monthly payments, but also the pressure that comes with public knowledge of the ongoing proceedings. Regardless of the situation surrounding the child support, those who are in the midst of a dispute must make certain that they are protected under the law.
Child support is an important issue for many divorcing families. To understand child support, and how it is determined, it is important to understand that child support is court-ordered financial support for a child and in Minnesota a child has the right to be supported by both parents. There are different circumstances that may lead to a request for a determination of child support and the establishment of a child support order.
In Minnesota, when a divorcing couple has minor children the court will enter a child support order as part of the divorce decree. Child support can also be ordered when unmarried parents split up. Unfortunately, for many parents who depend on receiving regular child support payments, getting the initial child support order is only the beginning of an ongoing struggle to get the other parent to fulfill their obligations.
Paternity refers to the legal determination that a man is the father of a specific child. Establishing paternity is important in a number of legal contexts, including child support. It results in important obligations for the father, and significant legal rights for the father, child and mother.
When most people think of child support, they think of the monthly payments that must be made by a noncustodial parent to help provide for the child's basic needs. But in Minnesota, child support orders must also set out how the parents will provide medical coverage for the child.