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Past-due child support after the child turns 18

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2017 | Family Law

Minnesota parents who are owed child support might struggle to collect it. This struggle might continue even after the child is no longer a minor. Parents who fall into arrears still must pay past-due child support even if they no longer are currently obligated under the order because of the child’s reaching the cut-off age.

A parent who is unable to collect child support has a number of avenues to compel the non-custodial parent to pay. If parents have a binding legal agreement in place and one parent is not paying, the state or federal government might garnish the person’s wages or take other steps up to and including incarceration. Some of the methods include the suspension of driver’s or professional licenses, a refusal to issue or renew a passport, and the interception of tax refunds.

After a child turns 18, if there is still unpaid child support from the past, parents might want to contact an attorney to discuss what they might do next. Those who are obligated to pay child support should not assume that they can just stop paying when their child turns 18.

Parents who are concerned about how they are going to pay child support or whether their spouse will reliably pay them might want to discuss their concerns with an attorney. A court looks at a parent’s income when calculating child support, and if the parent’s circumstances change in a way that makes it difficult to continue paying that support, such as a job loss, a modification could be requested. Attorneys will tell their clients who are making such a request that even if a modification is granted, it will be prospective in nature only and will have no effect on any amounts that are in arrears.

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