An obligor must report a change in income or job to the Child Support Officer within ten days. Unless the obligor gets a new court order modifying the existing child support order, the payments will build up. The obligor who misses payments will be subject to the following penalties or garnishments:
Employers are required to report all hires to the Department of Human Services (DHS). If they intentionally fail to comply, they are subject to a civil penalty of $25 per un-reported employee and $500 per employee if a conspiracy is found between the employer and the employee. The obligee or the county may take action against a non-compliant employer. If an employer intentionally fails to comply with a court order for wage withholding can be held in contempt of court and may be subject to sanctions. Note: An employer may not discriminate against a child support obligor by discharging, refusing to hire, or otherwise disciplining him or her because of his child support obligations.
If the obligee suspects that the obligor is underemployed or is hiding sources of income, the obligee can file for a modification of the child support based on potential income rather than actual income. The court will determine the potential income by imputing income based on the parent’s probable earnings based on employment potential, recent work history, and occupational qualifications, weighed against the local economic climate.
If wage withholding is ineffective because the obligor is self-employed, the court may order the obligor to establish a deposit account for paying support. Then, if the obligor subsequently fails to maintain the account, he will is subject to contempt of court proceedings. This is a rare option.
There are no defenses to nonpayment of child support. Interference with visitation is not a defense. Minn. Stat. 518.612. Unemployment of loss of income is not a defense, and payments will accumulate until payment is made. If obligors cannot pay, they must files a motion to modify the existing support order, work out a written payment plan with the county, or work out some other legally enforceable compromise with the county or obligee.
A late obligor can avoid loss of licensure and motor vehicle liens if they can enter into a written payment agreement with the court, child support magistrate, or public authority. The public official will consider the unique financial circumstances and write a graduated payment plan. If the obligor fails to comply, he or she is immediately subject to loss of licensure or motor vehicle lien.
Written by Lucas Spaeth
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