Minnesota maintains a county-based child support program providing services to parents who both owe support and who are entitled to receive support. Nicollet County is obligated to provide child support services to families regardless of whether the family receives public assistance.
The Attorney's Office provides legal services to the Nicollet County Child Support and Recovery Unit, the public authority that handles child support matters in Nicollet County. These legal services include paternity establishment actions, actions brought for reimbursement of public assistance, and actions brought to establish, modify, or enforce a child support order.
There is no attorney-client relationship between the county attorney and either parent involved in a child support case. The Attorney's Office does not represent the interests of the child for whom support is ordered, the parent entitled to receive the support, or the parent obligated to pay the support. In child support cases, the county attorney represents the public's interest to ensure that appropriate child support orders are obtained and enforced.
Child support officers, support staff, and supervisors in the Child Support and Recovery Unit handle the day-to-day administration of the 1,080 cases that are open in Nicollet County. In state fiscal year 2021, $3,896,467.77 in child support was collected and disbursed in Nicollet County.
Child Support Establishment & Enforcement
Enforcing Court-Ordered Obligations
The Attorney's Office pursues enforcement actions against parents who do not pay their court-ordered child support obligation. Minnesota law presumes that a parent with a child support obligation is capable of working full-time and paying the ordered obligation. Most enforcement actions are brought against parents who not only deliberately fail to work and pay, but also fail to pay because they quit or were fired from employment, failed to inform their child support officer of new employment, or failed to inform their employer that they have a child support obligation.
The enforcement of child support orders can include the following actions: Bank account levies, contempt of court and jail, lump sum withholding from workers' compensation or personal injury settlements, and suspension of a driver's license. Enforcement can also include suspension of recreational licenses such as hunting and fishing licenses if other enforcement mechanisms fail to compel the obligated parent to pay his or her support.
Child support enforcement promotes economic security for children and ensures that parents fulfill their financial obligations to their children.
Obligation Regulations & Accountability
Parents who have a child support obligation case are obligated by law to keep their child support officer up to date on their personal address, phone number or cell phone, as well as the name, address and phone number of their place of employment. Avoid enforcement actions by staying in touch with your child support officer and by paying your child support every month. If you do not know the name and phone number of your child support officer, please call 507-934-8559.
If you are unemployed through no fault of your own, or have proof that you are ill, injured, or disabled, your child support officer can give you information on how to change your child support obligation. If you owe child support arrears, you are obligated to report any pending workers' compensation, personal injury, or disability claim to your child support officer.
For More Information
If you have any other questions about an enforcement action being brought against you, please contact your child support officer.