Child support

Hennepin County works to make sure that children get the support they need.

The county can help to locate parents; establish parentage; and set and enforce court orders for child support, medical support and child care support.

We can help to adjust court orders based on the cost-of-living index; work with other states to enforce support; and collect and process payments. Services are available to Hennepin County residents and people with a Hennepin County court order.

We do not provide legal advice or counsel, establish custody or parenting time, enforce spousal maintenance, or oversee the collection of unpaid bills. We also do not provide assistance with a legal separation or divorce.

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Apply for services

To apply for child support services in Hennepin County you must be a resident of Hennepin County or have a Hennepin County court order. If you are a resident of Hennepin County, but have a court order from a different county, apply for services in the county that issued the court order.

Services are available to

  • Parents of minor children, if one parent does not live with the child
  • Parents who pay child support through court-ordered income withholding
  • People who have court-ordered, physical custody of a minor child
  • People who receive public assistance for a minor child who lives in their home

Fill out a child support application

There are three ways to get an application.

  1. Call 612-348-3593. Leave your name and address. An application package will be sent to you by mail.
  2. Download an application from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
  3. Pick up an application at our office located in the Family Justice Center or at a regional human services center.

There is a one-time $25 application fee. Do not send cash. You also may pay additional cost recovery fees. Applicants who are receiving public assistance in Hennepin County do not pay a fee.

Mail your completed application

Remember to include the one-time $25 application fee if it is required. Do not send cash. Include copies of any and all court orders that have been issued regarding paternity, child support, or divorce decrees.

Hennepin County Child Support Services
MC L890
110 South 4th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Next steps

Your completed application may take as long as 20 days to process.

We will review your case to determine how to proceed. If you have an existing enforceable court order you will hear from us within 30 days after your case is opened.

If court action is needed to determine paternity, or to establish an order for support, you will be contacted for more information or notified of the name and phone number of the worker assigned to process your case.

Paternity and custody and parenting time

Paternity

Paternity means having legal fatherhood established. This gives certain rights and benefits to the father, the mother, and the child.

  • If the parents of a child are married to each other, the husband is the legal father of any child born or conceived while the parents are married.
  • If the parents are not married to each other, legal fatherhood is established by either the Recognition of Parentage process (a voluntary, no-cost form for parents who are not married to each other who have a child together) or through the paternity court process.
  • If either the mother or the alleged father has any doubts about who the biological father is, they should have genetic testing done before admitting paternity. Hennepin County Child Support Services can arrange for genetic testing if paternity establishment services are applied for or public assistance is being expended for the child.

Before signing a Recognition of Parentage form, parents should watch the video, Child Support - Power of Two.

Read more

Translated forms

Custody and parenting time

A mother who was not married to the child’s father when the child was conceived or born has sole legal and physical custody of the child until a court orders otherwise. As a general rule, the child support agency does not get involved in custody or parenting time issues.

More information

Minnesota Courts' Self-Help Center

Financial aspects of child support

Determining a child support amount

  • Support is determined using both parents' monthly gross income. If both parents agree on a child support amount, the county can help make the agreement official with a court order.
  • If a parent is required to support more than one family, the county must send payment to all of the families who are owed support. Parents get credit for the spousal maintenance/alimony and/or child support that he or she is ordered to pay for other families, and each parent is eligible for a monthly deduction for as many as two unrelated children who live with that parent.
  • If a court orders visitation/parenting time, the parent who pays child support may receive a child support credit, based on his or her share of visitation/parenting time.
  • The costs of health coverage and child care are divided between the parents, based on each parent’s income. It is possible that the parent with custody could pay medical support or that amount will be used to decrease the other parent’s child support obligation.
  • Arrears created under the former child support standards are still valid and will be enforced under the new guidelines.
  • Estimate your child support with the State of Minnesota’s web calculator. For an accurate estimate, you will need good information about the other parent.

Modifying an existing support order

If either parent's situation changes substantially, he or she may seek a modification. However, there are conditions that must be met before any modification is approved.

Pro se motion

In Hennepin County, you may file a pro se motion with District Court, Family Court Division to request a modification of your support order. There is a fee for filing, but the fee can be waived in some situations.

You do not need to hire an attorney in order to pursue a change in child support, although you may wish to do so. If you do hire an attorney to represent you in getting your child support order changed, you must notify our office. To find online resources, visit the Self Help Center, Child Support.

You can get help completing a pro se motion for modification of your child support order. Review the child support workshop information on the Minnesota Fourth Judicial District’s website.

You can find the pro se motion paperwork or make a request for an agency review by visiting Child Support ezDocs

County review

You also may request that the County review your child support order. The child support agency will determine if your request meets the requirements for a modification.

Please note that an agency review could result in an increase or decrease in child support.

You may send a written request for a review to your child support officer (include the reason for the request), or you may contact your child support officer by phone for more information on the review process.

Cost-of-living adjustments (COLA)

Most child support orders issued in Minnesota include a requirement that the child support amount be adjusted every two years based on changes in the cost of living. COLA adjustments are based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This is a standard measure of the inflation rate determined by the U.S. Department of Labor.

For more information:

Spousal maintenance

The Minnesota Legislature passed new legislation on May 26, 2005 that authorizes the Department of Human Services to provide income withholding services to spousal maintenance only cases upon request of one of the parties. Full child support services are not available unless a child support obligation is being enforced in addition to the spousal maintenance obligation.

Download the paperwork from MN Courts. The cover letter on the packet will explain how to complete the forms.

Payment and enforcement

Income withholding

Most support is collected by withholding income from a parent’s income. All new and modified child support court orders are subject to income withholding.

Income withholding is the process by which court ordered child support, spousal maintenance, child care, and/or medical support is deducted from earned income. The procedures are governed by state law.

Minnesota Statutes 518A.53

Receiving your support payment

Once income withholding papers have been sent to an employer, it may take up to 45 days to receive a payment. Payments are sent to the custodial parent as they are received by the child support payment center.

If the person paying child support is working for cash or is self-employed it is his or her responsibility to send payments, and we will forward payments as we receive them.

Do not send child support payments directly to the custodial parent. If the custodial parent is paid directly, the Minnesota Child Support Payment Center has no record of the payment. Our agency will assume the non-custodial parent is delinquent, and may take enforcement actions to collect the amount that was not credited to the case(s).

Child support payment center

The payment center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • Do not send cash. Make the support payments by check or money order, payable to Minnesota Child Support Payment Center.
  • Include your Social Security or participant number so proper credit is received.
  • Keep careful records. Non-custodial parents should keep canceled checks or copies of money orders as receipts. If a difference exists between our records and yours, the noncustodial parent may be required to produce receipts as proof of payment.
  • Send all payments to:
    MN CSPC
    P.O. Box 64326
    St. Paul, MN 55164

If a direct payment from the other parent is received, and you receive Public Assistance:

  • You must contact your Minnesota Family Investment Program worker, child care worker, and/or child support officer immediately. Report the support you received on your household report form. If you live in subsidized housing, you must report your change in income.
  • Sign the payment over to the Minnesota Child Support Payment Center, and include your Social Security number or case number on the payment.

If child support payments are not made

There are many reasons you might not get the support owed to you. Most often these reasons are based on the employment situation of the noncustodial parent. As a general rule, if there is no money coming in it is because the other parent is not earning enough income to pay their obligations.

If a non-custodial parent does not pay the child support obligation they are court-ordered to pay, the child support office uses enforcement remedies. These enforcement remedies include:

  • Intercepting federal and state income and property tax refunds and lottery winnings
  • Reporting unpaid balances to credit bureaus
  • Passport denial
  • Suspending driver’s and occupational licenses
  • New hire reporting by employers
  • Judgment entry and interest charging
  • Denial of student grants
  • Civil contempt
  • Criminal nonsupport

Medical reimbursement

When someone requests collection of uninsured and/or non-reimbursable medical or dental costs, the child support officer reviews the file and, when appropriate, sends you the required paperwork. You will then need to complete the forms and send in copies of bills, receipts, etc.

Once that paperwork is received the officer will begin the legal process to collect the owed money, during which time the other party can contest the process.

Child care support

You need a child care support obligation in your court order. Otherwise this obligation functions much like basic support, except that the agency can suspend the obligation when the child is no longer in daycare. Child care support can be resumed in some cases if a child is re-enrolled in day care.

Tracking your child support payments

Access your account information as needed. You will need to know your personal ID number (PIN). Call 612-348-6411 to request a new PIN.

Online: Minnesota Child Support Online

By phone: 651-215-5630 or 800-657-3512

Case closure

Emancipation

Child support obligations usually continue until the child turns 18 unless otherwise ordered by the court.

Support may continue beyond age 18 if a child is still in high school or if a child is disabled. A child who is in high school and younger than 20 has not emancipated.

If your court order is from a state other than Minnesota, the age of emancipation may vary. If you have questions, contact your child support officer.

If your child emancipates and the other parent still owes past-due child support, our office will continue collection efforts on the past-due support.

Closing your child support case

Hennepin County will close your case when there is no longer an ongoing support obligation and the account is paid in full.

Either the custodial parent or non-custodial parent applicant can request case closure at any time if the following conditions have been met:

  • There are no public assistance arrears owed and you do not receive Minnesota Family Investment Plan, MinnesotaCare or other Medical Assistance, or child care assistance
  • The court has determined that payment of support directly to the custodial parent is in the best interests of the child or children

Requests for closure can be made by contacting your child support officer by phone or sending a request in writing. You may use this document to send a written request for closure: Request to Close Support Case (PDF).

Send your request to:

Hennepin County Child Support Services
MC L890
110 South 4th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55401-2280

Across borders

Other states

We can assist with the establishment of paternity and child support orders, and with child support collection, in situations where the parents of a child live in different states. This is done under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), a law set up to make it possible for child support agencies in different states to cooperate with each other to establish and enforce child support orders.

If you live outside the state of Minnesota and you need assistance in collecting child support from a Minnesota resident, apply for child support services in the county and state where you live.

When more than one state is involved in child support enforcement, additional time for case processing is needed in each state. This means that child support collection will take longer than it does when both parents are living in the same state.

Other countries

If one of the parents is a legal resident of a country other than the United States, and we have a cooperative agreement with that country, we can assist with child support collection.

Contact the Office of Citizens Consular Services

United States Department of State
Office of Citizens Consular Services
Washington, D.C. 20520

http://www.state.gov/

More information

Minnesota Child Support Online

Child support brochures

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