Child Support Services

The mission of the DVHHS Child Support Unit is to enhance the well-being of children and families by establishing paternity, locating parents and establishing and enforcing child support obligations.  

The Office of Child Support is responsible for establishing paternity for children born out of wedlock and establishing and enforcing court orders for child support. These services are required for persons receiving public assistance and are available to anyone who applies for services. Every child needs financial and emotional support from both parents. Child Support includes basic support, medical support, and childcare support. 

A person needing paternity and/or child support help may apply for child support services at Des Moines Valley Health & Human Services. An application for child support services is available online (application) or by mail; please call either of the Human Services offices to request an application (contact information).

The State of Minnesota Child Support Division supervises the child support program. County child support offices administer it by working with parents to establish and enforce support orders. The child support program helps:

  • children receive the financial support, medical support, and child care support they deserve
  • families work toward becoming and remaining self-sufficient
  • parents establish a financial partnership

The child support unit provides services for: 

  • locating parents and verifying sources of income
  • establishing parentage
  • establishing and enforcing court orders for child support, medical support, and child care support
  • reviewing and modifying court orders for support
  • adjusting court orders based on the cost-of- living index
  • working with other states to enforce support when one parent does not live in Minnesota
  • collecting and processing payments
The child support unit does not help with:
  • Giving legal advice
  • Getting a separation or divorce
  • Spousal maintenance establishment
  • Collecting unpaid bills or debts not related to child support obligations