Establishing the Financial Obligations of Parents
Every child needs and deserves financial support from both parents. If a child's parents do not live together, the parent not living with the child may be asked to pay monies to the person the child is residing with. Child support includes basic support, medical support and child care contribution. Financial support can also include a contribution for the child's expenses that were incurred during the two years prior to the legal action.
Child Support Orders
If a parent has applied for county services or is receiving some form of assistance (cash assistance, medical assistance, MinnesotaCare, or child care assistance), the Anoka County Attorney's Office, through the Family Law Division, has the ability to request that the court establish child support payments. Child support payments can be ordered in one of the following ways, depending on the situation of the parents:
- Establishment Actions - If the parents have signed a Recognition of Parentage (ROP), the County may start a new legal action to establish child support. The legal action will include a request for the court to decide the correct amounts of basic support, medical support, child care contribution and/or past support. Typically these cases are heard in the Expedited Child Support by a child support magistrate. This is commonly referred to as Expro Court.
- Paternity Actions - By law, judges that determine the legal father of a child through a paternity action must also decide the amount of child support payments required to be paid by the noncustodial parent. The court may also require the noncustodial parent to pay for the cost of genetic testing, past support, and pregnancy and confinement expenses.
- Motion to Set or Establish Child support in an Existing Court File - Sometimes court orders that decide who should have custody of the child do not decide financial obligations. In these situations, Anoka County may bring a motion asking the court to decide child support in the already existing court file. Existing court files could include a dissolution or divorce file, a custody file, a family court case that transferred from juvenile court, or some other type of family case.
- Order for Protection - If the Anoka County Office of Child Support is servicing a family or the child(ren) receives public assistance, an Assistant Anoka County Attorney may appear at these hearings. The job of the Anoka County Attorney in these cases is very limited; we will appear at the hearing to ask the court to order the noncustodial parent to pay child support.
- Family and Juvenile Cases in District Court - The County Attorney's Office may ask the court to be allowed to participate in other family cases. This can include dissolution (divorce) cases, third party custody actions, change in custody actions, juvenile cases, or other private cases such as a paternity case. Again, the purpose would be to seek child support or financial reimbursement of public assistance funds that are being expended on behalf of the minor child(ren).
- Dissolution (Divorce) Cases - The Anoka County Attorney's Office will participate in divorce cases if public assistance is being expended on behalf of the minor child(ren). An Assistant Anoka County Attorney would either appear in the action at a hearing, make a request to the court in writing, or work with your attorney to determine an appropriate amount of child support payments.