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How to Collect Unpaid Support

The collection process can be complicated. There might be more than one way to try to collect support in your case. Get advice from a lawyer to learn which option is best for you. Minnesota law says that a missed child support payment becomes a "judgment" on or after the day it is due. See MN Statute § 548.091, subd.1a.

Trying to collect payment on a support order generally involves two parts:

  • Part 1 is to do what is called "enter and docket a judgment" against the parent who is supposed to pay (Obligor). You add up the total amount of unpaid support and ask the court to put that into a "money judgment." The court does NOT collect the money for you.
  • Part 2 is to choose an option for collecting the judgment (e.g., garnish wages or a bank account, put a lien on property, etc.) See "How to Collect a Conciliation Court Judgment" for similar examples of collection.

How to "Enter and Docket" a Judgment

STEP 1:   Gather information

To "enter and docket a judgment," you need:

1.  a copy of current Order(s) setting or changing the amount of child support that the other parent is supposed to pay;


2.  information about the parent who is supposed to pay (Obligor), including their name, address, employer's name and address; (IMPORTANT! You must have a mailing address for the Obligor for the court to accept your forms. If you don't know where he or she is, you could try options listed in "How Can I Find Someone?");


3.  information about past due support, such as payment due date(s) and total amounts still owed. If the Child Support Office is involved in your case, it is helpful to get a "payment history printout" from your caseworker that shows payments made since the date of the Order. 

STEP 2:   Fill out forms

Complete the two forms below.

Notice of Intent to Enter and Docket Child Support Judgment (#CSD702)


Affidavit of Default of Child Support Judgment (#CSD703)

STEP 3:   Make 3 copies of the completed forms, current support Order(s), and payment history printout

Make three (3) copies of each completed form, current support Order(s), and payment history printout. One copy of each is for your records.

STEP 4:   Serve a set of papers on the Obligor (and County Attorney if the Child Support Office is involved)

One copy of each form, Order(s), and payment history must be served on the Obligor (parent who owes support) and one copy must be served on the County Attorney (if county support is involved in the case).

IMPORTANT! Someone other than you must do the service (delivery) of the papers. Service can be by first-class mail OR in person. The person who mails or hand-delivers the documents to the Obligor and to the County Attorney (if involved) must be age 18 or older, and cannot be a party in your case.

The person who is your server must complete an Affidavit of Service and have their signature notarized. If the County gets served, the server should also complete a separate Affidavit of Service for the County.

Serve the Obligor (parent who owes support) with:

  • ORIGINAL form "Notice of Intent to Enter and Docket Child Support Judgment" AND
  • one COPY of the "Affidavit of Default of Child Support Judgment"

Serve on the County Attorney (if Child Support Office is involved) with:

  • one COPY of the "Notice of Intent to Enter and Docket Child Support Judgment" AND
  • one COPY of the "Affidavit of Default of Child Support Judgment"

STEP 5:   File Papers with the Court

File the following forms with Court Administration:

  • one COPY of "Notice of Intent to Enter and Docket Child Support Judgment" AND
  • ORIGINAL "Affidavit of Default of Child Support Judgment" AND
  • ORIGINAL "Affidavit(s) of Service"

Contact your court administrator to find out what address to use if you want to file your papers by mail, and to see if there are any other steps you must take to "enter and docket" a judgment in your court. You should keep a copy of each document you file with Court Administration.

Generally, within one month you should receive notice from the court that the judgment has been "entered and docketed."

Choose a Judgment Collection Option

AFTER you have completed the process to "enter and docket a support judgment" AND received the "Notice of Entry and Judgment" from the court, then you take the next step of trying to collect the money (e.g., garnish wages or bank account, put lien on property, etc.) If you do not know which option is best for you, get advice from a lawyer.


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