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A parent's finances may be frozen if they don't pay child support

It is extremely important that parents in Minnesota who owe child support fulfill their obligations, and pay what they owe on time and in full. After all, the parent receiving child support needs these funds to pay for the costs of raising the child; thus, if there is a failure to pay, it is ultimately the child who suffers.

Moreover, there are penalties for failing to pay child support. For example, one's financial assets could be levied or seized. In Minnesota, a paying parent's financial assets may be levied or seized if he or she is in arrears over five times what he or she owes in monthly child support payments, is or potentially will be subject to a tax offset at either the state or federal level,or is not in compliance with a written child support plan that has the approval of either the child support office, a child support magistrate or the court.

Financial institutions in this case include banks and credit unions, along with any other entity that collects or handles the paying parent's money. The paying parent will receive a notice from the child support office that his or her assets will be frozen by his or her financial institution. The freeze will last for up to 45 days. Once frozen, the paying parent will not be able to use the funds. However, any deposits the paying parent makes during this time will be accessible.

However, a parent does have options in this case. He or she can contest the levy by moving the court to release some or all of the assets affected by the freeze. Moreover, certain assets cannot be frozen. These include any public assistance the parent receives, income earned by a minor child and income belonging to a joint account holder, among other exemptions. If exempt funds are being frozen, the parent can request that the matter be resolved by their county child support office, without the need to hold an official court hearing. Moreover, sometimes the parent has an order of the court prohibiting the freezing of the parent's assets.

Having one's financial assets frozen is a serious penalty. This is why it is so important for a parent not to fall behind on his or her child support payments. Parents who are unable to meet their support obligations may want to move the court for a modification. This could help resove the issues the parent is facing and help a child receive the funds they need.

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