Most of the time, support is deducted from a parent's income source. This process is called income withholding.
Income withholding is the process by which court-ordered child support, spousal maintenance, child care, and/or medical support is deducted from income. Employers are required to report all new hires, which helps child support agencies know when income should be withheld.
Receiving your support payment
Once income withholding papers have been sent to an employer, it may take as long as 45 days to receive a payment. Then, the Minnesota Child Support Payment Center distributes the support to the custodial parent.
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 Child Support Payment Center has no record of the payment. The child support agency will assume that the noncustodial parent is delinquent, and may take enforcement actions to collect the amount that is not accounted for.
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. Noncustodial 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:
P.O. Box 64326
St. Paul, MN 55164
If you receive a direct payment from the other parent, 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.
Minnesota Child Support Online
You can make secure electronic child support payments from checking and savings accounts through Minnesota Child Support Online (MCSO). Payments made using MCSO will not replace or stop payments made by income withholding. The online payment option is for parents who wish to make additional payments or who wish to make a payment when income withholding is not available.
In order to make payments through MCSO, you must be a registered user. Information on registering your account can be found on the MCSO participant introduction page.
If child support payments are not made
There are many reasons why child support payments are not made on time. Most often, these reasons are based on the employment situation of the noncustodial parent. As a general rule, if payments are not made, it is because the noncustodial parent is not earning enough income to pay his or her obligations.
If a noncustodial parent does not make the court-ordered payment, the child support office uses enforcement remedies, including:
- Intercepting federal and state income and property tax refunds and lottery winnings
- Reporting unpaid balances to credit bureaus
- Denying passport applications
- Suspending driver’s and occupational licenses
- Entering judgments
- Charging interest
- Denying student grants
- Filing for civil contempt
- Pursuing charges of criminal nonsupport
When the custodial or noncustodial parent requests collection of uninsured and/or nonreimbursed medical or dental costs:
- The child support officer reviews the file and sends you the required forms. You also can use the link below to access these forms.
- You will need to complete the forms and submit them to the other party, along with copies of bills, receipts, etc. This includes completing an affidavit of mailing which shows the forms were mailed to the other party.
- The other party is required to pay the requesting party within 30 days of receiving the forms.
- If the other party does not pay within the 30 days, the requesting party submits the forms and the affidavit of mailing to our agency.
- The child support officer will begin the legal process to get reimbursement. During that time, the other party can contest the claim. This process can take several months. The parties do have the option of filing a motion to address these uninsured and/or nonreimbursed medical or dental costs.
Medical reimbursement forms (To access DHS-4931-ENG, you will need to log in, using your user ID and password)
Child care support
If you want to collect child care support, it must be included in your court order. Child care support functions much like basic support, except that the county can end the obligation when the child is no longer in care. In some cases, child care support can be resumed if a child is re-enrolled.
Tracking your child support payments
You can access your account information as needed.
Online: Minnesota Child Support Online
By phone: (Twin Cities Metro) 651-215-5630 or (Greater Minnesota) 800-657-3512
You will need to know your personal ID number (PIN). Call 612-348-6411 to request a new PIN.