Child support and paternity

Child support

Child support is ordered by the court and may be established in a variety of ways — a divorce decree, legal separation, paternity action, domestic abuse order, or support establishment action. The amount set in the order is based on a variety of factors. Child support can also include medical support and contributions to the cost of child care. The web based child support calculator may be able to assist you in determining a likely obligation. 

Email the Child Support Group

Child Support Online

Minnesota Child Support Online is a secure website that provides participants information about their Minnesota child support cases. To access your information, you will need the case number and PIN.

For more information about establishing support see the Department of Human Services.

How to establish an order.


In the case of unmarried parents, a paternity action can be brought to legally establish the father of the child. Establishing legal fatherhood gives certain rights and benefits to the father, mother and child.

Alleged fathers are usually offered genetic testing. The results of the samples taken from the mother, father and child are sent to a lab for genetic testing of the DNA. Given the accuracy of these tests, results are usually 99% or 0%.

In Minnesota, another way to establish paternity is through the Recognition of Parentage document, which legally establishes the child's father. Parents can also go to court to have a judge or a jury decide if a person is a child's biological father.

For more information about establishing paternity, see the Department of Human Services.

Who is eligible for services?

All families needing help with establishment of paternity and/or collection of child support are eligible. Families who receive public assistance automatically receive these services. Support collected is used to offset the cost of public assistance provided. These services are also available to those who do not receive public assistance by completing an application.

Call Rice County Social Services at 507-332-6115 (Faribault) or 507-645-9576 (Northfield/Lonsdale) to apply.