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Child Support & visitation rights

Saint Paul, MN |

I have been out of a job for the past year but recently started a temp job for a few weeks now. I am behind on child support but payments have been deducted out of my paycheck.

I have a court date coming up soon that the mother has pursued since I am behind on child support. I don't know what to expect as I just started a temporary job.

Since the child has been born, I have not been able to see the child as the mother will not allow it. I cannot afford a lawyer.

I need some advice on what to do?

I have contacted the Child support agency and they did inform me that if the mother does not let me see the child then they can stop child support payments. Is this true?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You have tow separate issues - child support and custody/parenting time.

    Custody and parenting time issues cannot be addressed at a child support hearing. To have those matters determined, you must commence an action to determine custody and parenting time in District Court.

    If you have a change in your employment status, it is incumbent upon you to file a Motion to modify your child support obligation. Unless you do so, it continues unchanged as set. Child support is only retroactive back to the date that you file a Motion. As a result, if you do not file a motion, you will owe the child support. The current action could be one for contempt if you have failed to pay child support. That can be very serious. It can result in the revocation of your driver's license and even incarceration. You would be very wise to retain legal counsel. It is much easier and less expensive to address the issues at a hearing than it is to try and fix a bad order once it has been entered.

    Disclaimer: Nothing in this email message creates an attorney client relationship absent a retainer agreement with this office. Any response to email inquiries should be considered general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. You should always consult a lawyer in your state regarding your specific legal matter.


  2. Whomever you spoke with at the "support agency" who told you that not allowing parenting time would stop a support obligation lied to your face. One has nothing at all to do with the other. I'm guessing here that you and the mother were not married and that you haven't pursued any kind of custody/parenting time order. If that's correct, then here's your current status: you have no rights of any kind to the child. None. You need to go to court to obtain a custody/parenting time order. In the meantime, however, having no rights does NOT mean you don't owe support. Assuming the county established paternity and a support order against you, you owe what you owe. They will enter an arrearage against you and recalculate your support obligation based upon your new income (or 150% min. wage, whichever is higher). Although, clearly, you need to speak to an attorney, with child support, there is little an attorney can really do - the calculations are what they are - if the math is done correctly, the law is clear.

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  3. Child support and your parenting time are two issues which are sometimes addressed together at court but sometimes not. I urge you to seek private attorney counsel as soon as possible. There are state guidelines for child support but in certain situations the amount may vary from the guidelines. In certain situations no child support is paid. Tricia Dwyer Esq.

    MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL - ST CLOUD. This law firm may accept avvo posters as clients but this post is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post is to be considered general information which may or may not apply to your personal situation. Please do seek private attorney counsel as to your personal legal issues and needs.

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