Child Support Payments
The Ramsey County Attorney's Office assist parents by enforcing child suport orders and helping find solutions for parents struggling to honor their child supportment commitments.
Making child support payments
After a parent has applied for child support services, all payments must go through the Minnesota Child Support Payment Center. (See the address listed below.)
A parent should not send payments directly to the other parent when a child support office is enforcing the order. If a parent pays the other parent directly:
- The parent making the payment might not get credit for it.
- The parent receiving the payment must notify their child support worker and may be asked to send the payment to the Child Support Payment Center so that it can be disbursed according to federal guidelines.
Income withholding: The most common method of paying child support is by having a set amount withheld from the payor’s income. See the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) Children and Families website for more information.
If income withholding ends for any reason, or is not enough to meet the monthly obligation, the parent who owes support must make payments and send them to the payment center. Review every paycheck to make sure that child support is being taken out of your paycheck. If you notice that it is not, contact your child support officer and your employer to report this.
Automatic withdrawals: Some parents may pay their support by an automatically-recurring withdrawal.
Mail: Parents may pay their support by check, cashier's check or money order. Parents must identify their payments to ensure that they get credit for them and that the payments are applied to the correct case. Parents should include their name on the payment and at least one number, such as:
- Child support case number
- Participant number (also called MCI number)
- Social Security number
Do not send cash. Make checks payable to Minnesota Child Support Payment Center.
Send payments to:
Minnesota Child Support Payment Center
P.O. Box 64326
Saint Paul, MN 55164
Regardless of the payment option you choose, remember to keep careful records. You should keep canceled checks or copies of money orders as receipts. If a difference exists between official records and yours, you may be required to produce receipts as proof of payment.
To receive your payments, you must sign up for one of two options:
- Reliacard: This is a stored-value bank card that is issued directly to a parent who requests it, or who does not sign up for direct deposit to a checking or savings account. This card may be used at ATMs and to make purchases. You may have only child support funds in your Reliacard account, not funds from any other source.
- Direct deposit: With this method, payments are deposited directly to the receiving parent’s bank or debit card.
Payments are sent to the parent who receives payments within two business days of receipt by the Minnesota Child Support Payment Center, and usually sooner.
Some months, it may seem that the income withholding is not for the right amount, or it might be late. While most employers pay their employees twice per month, or every other week, some months might have three pay periods. This is called an income withholding variance. If this happens and you have questions, contact your child support officer.
If the paying parent is working for an employer (that is, not self-employed or an independent contractor or working for cash), you should begin to receive income withholding payments, but this can take up to 45 days to begin.
The paying parent is required to make payments directly to the Minnesota Child Support Payment Center until income withholding is in place.
If the other parent is self-employed or an independent contractor or working for cash, they will receive a monthly bill and will be responsible for making their own payments to the Minnesota Child Support Payment Center.
If you receive a direct payment from the other parent, and you receive public assistance:
- You must contact your financial worker (public assistance worker) immediately. Report the support you received on your household report form. If you live in subsidized housing, you must report your change in income.
- Contact your child support officer.
- Sign the payment over to the Minnesota Child Support Payment Center, and include your social security number or case number on the payment.
- If payments are not reported, you could be penalized.
If you receive a direct payment from the other parent, and you do not receive public assistance:
- Contact your child support officer to report the payment and keep a record of the payment.
- If payments are not reported, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office may close your case.
Payments from out-of-state parents
If a parent lives in another state
Even when the paying parent lives in a state other than Minnesota, Ramsey County can help establish paternity and child support orders, modify child support orders and set up child support collection.
If you are the receiving parent, live outside Minnesota, and need help to receive or modify child support from a Minnesota resident, then you should apply for child support services in the county and state where you live. You will need to work with the child support office in your state, and Ramsey County then works with that same child support office to serve you.
When more than one state is involved in child support enforcement, it might take longer to process your case. This means that child support collection will take longer than it does when both parents live in the same state.
If a parent lives in another country
If one of the parents is a legal resident of a country other than the United States, and the U.S. has a cooperative agreement with that country, we can assist with child support collection. More information about international child support enforcement is available from US State Department.
Contact the Office of Citizens Consular Services.