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Can there be a license suspension for overdue child support?

Minnesotans who are obligated to pay child support, and the custodial parents who are supposed to receive that support, must be aware that there are certain penalties that the state will assess if there are delinquent payments. Child support enforcement comes in a variety of types. One that can be particularly problematic for the delinquent parent is a driver's license suspension. Understanding when this can come about and how it can be rescinded is imperative to a person's life.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety can issue a driver's license suspension for being behind in child support if the request is made by the child support office. For this to happen, the following two factors must be in place: the parent owes at least three times the monthly support requirement, and there is a written payment plan that had been approved by the office, a child support magistrate, or the court, and the parent is not in compliance with it. The parent will be informed through the mail that the suspension is moving forward.

At the time the intent to suspend is received, the parent will have 30 days from the date of the notice to contest it. The parent will need to send a written request to the child support office to do so. If a hearing is not requested in the necessary time frame, there will be 90 days to do one of the following: pay what is owed in full; agree to a signed payment plan for cases that qualify; inform the county office that is overseeing the case that there is a bankruptcy pending, they are getting public assistance, or they do not owe the payments. If none of this is done, the license will be suspended.

If there is a suspension, the parent can seek a limited license that will be valid for 90 days. This can only be done one time. There cannot be a suspension in the following circumstances: if the case does not meet the necessary criteria; the parent filed for a modification to address the current and past payments prior to the suspension; a court order prohibits it; or the supporting parent gets public assistance.

Having a driver's license suspended due to allegations of not having met the necessary financial obligations for child support can be a problem personally and professionally. Those who are confronted with a license suspension, or a parent who is not receiving the required payments, should be aware of the rules surrounding this action and consider discussing the case with an experienced attorney.

Source: mn.gov, "Driver's license suspension," accessed on July 30, 2017

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