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Attorney Logo Right to Support

Every child has a right to support from both parents.  If you receive public assistance and a parent is not living in the home, you will automatically receive help in obtaining and collecting child support.  If you do not receive public assistance, you may ask for support services.  In Ramsey County, call (651) 266-3244 for an application or pick one up at:

Ramsey County Attorney's Office
Child Support Enforcement Section
121 Seventh Place East
Suite 4500
Saint Paul, MN 55101-5001
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Fees for Non-Public Assistance Child Support Services:

  • Application Fee   There is a one-time $25 application fee to open a IV-D case when the child is not now on nor ever has received public assistance.  There is not an application fee if the child is now receiving public assistance or formerly received public assistance, and the case remains open.

  • Cost Recovery Fee  There is a 1% cost recovery fee for all collections to support obligees, or the children living with the obligees, who are not receiving public assistance.  If the obligee, or the children living with the obligee, receives public assistance, the fee will begin charging after there is no public assistance open for 24 consecutive months.  If the obligee applied for the services, or formerly received public assistance and is continuing to receive services after being off of public assistance for 24 consecutive months, the 1% fee is reduced from each collection.  If the obligor applied for the services, the 1% fee is added to the amount to be collected.

  • Income Withholding Only Services  There is a $15 per month fee charged to the obligor if the case is nonpublic assistance and the only service requested is income withholding.

  • Collections Fee  There is an annual $25 collection fee for any collections over $500.00 during the Federal Fiscal Year (October 1 through September 30), for cases in which there has never been public assistance expended.  The $25 is taken out of the payment following the first $500.00 collected, and is only taken out once during the Federal Fiscal Year. 

Eligibility for Child Support

You can receive child support if all of the following are true:

  • A minor child lives in your home;
  • The child is financially dependent upon you;
  • A parent or parents are not living in the home; and 
  • The court has issued a child support, child care, or medical support order directing the payment of child support to you.

How Receiving Public Assistance Affects Child Support

If you are a recipient of public assistance, by law you have assigned your rights to child support and maintenance to the County.  The assignment of support becomes effective as soon as the application for public assistance is approved.  The assignment includes both current child support and arrearages and continues as long as you receive assistance.  Child support will be sent to you even though you are receiving public assistance; however, the amount of public assistance you receive will be affected by the amount of child support you receive.

Public Assistance Cooperation

To be eligible for public assistance, Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare or Child Care assistance, you must cooperate with the Child Support Enforcement Section by providing information known to you.  If you fail to provide information and you are receiving assistance from MFIP, your grant may be reduced and you could be removed from Medical Assistance (MA).  These penalties apply unless you can prove "good cause" for not cooperating.

How Receiving Medical Assistance Affects Child Support

To receive medical assistance, including MinnesotaCare, you must:

  • Assign to the County any rights you have under employer or private health care coverage;
  • Assign to the County any rights you have under automobile injury coverage; and
  • Assign to the County any rights to payment for medical care from any third party for yourself and/or your dependents. The County will keep medical support collections.

You must cooperate with the County in any legal action it brings against a third party for payment of medical expenses or subsistence.  You must also cooperate in the establishment of paternity for your child.

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