Minneapolis family law attorney Laurie Mack-Wagner shares what you can do if you are not getting child support payments.
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In many instances, the first step if you’re not receiving court ordered child support payments is you should just open the case with the county. They will provide collection services for you and they will do the cost of living adjustment every two years. They also keep track of what payments are actually made and how much is outstanding. And they can actually collect the arrears. However, there are also some instances where you may feel that some of those remedies are not fast enough or you know that the other parent, who’s supposed to be paying you, has a large asset that you can ask the court to award you. You don’t want to wait for the counties remedies of 20 percent of the child support payment and so what they would do, for example, is the obligation is $1,000.00 a month, they would collect $1,200.00 a month and put that $200.00 towards the arrears. That can be a pretty slow process so if you know that there are greater assets you would likely want to go and file a contempt motion, seek an enforcement action. Contempt is a pretty heavy hitting remedy because that could involve potential jail time if the person is just willfully disregarding a court order. But it also gives the person found to be in contempt an option of paying what they call purge conditions and you can ask for a higher purge condition than just that 20 percent rather than going to jail. It’s actually a pretty effective remedy. There are options.