Enforcing Collection of Child Support
Methods of Enforcement
The County uses different methods to try to ensure families receive child support payments regularly. The county typically refers to these different methods as "collection" methods. Some of these enforcement tools are listed below:
- Automatic Income Withholding - Automatic Income Withholding or AIW is when child support is taken directly out of a parent's wages before they are paid by the employer, much like taxes are taken out of a paycheck by an employer. The employer sends the child support payments to a central payment center in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Minnesota Child Support Payment Center distributes the monies to the families.
- Credit Bureau Reporting - If a parent is three months behind in support, the Office of Child Support may report obligations that are past due to credit bureaus.
- Financial Institution Data Match - The child support agency matches information about parents that owe past child support with financial institutions' data to try to find assets. If assets are located, the Office of Child Support may try to levy the assets. There is criteria that must be met and the party must be at least five months behind in paying a child support obligation.
- License Suspension - The Office of Child Support may try to suspend a driver's license, an occupational license or a recreational license if the parent is behind in payments. The processes to suspend a license are similar, but have different requirements. Please contact your child support office for more information.
- Other Income - If a parent owes past child support, the Office of Child Support may be able to withhold this amount from payments of bonuses and periodic or lump sum payments from state or local agencies, including unemployment insurance, worker's compensation and lottery winnings. Contact the Office of Child Support to report any information regarding these other forms of income.
- Passport Denial - The Office of Child Support can request a denial of a passport if the parent is $2,500 behind in paying a child support obligation and is not compliant with a payment agreement.