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Information for servicemembers

Child support obligations can be affected if a parent is in the military.

The Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act of 2003

The Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act of 2003 (SCRA) is a federal law that gives military members some important rights as they enter active duty. It covers issues like:

  • Child support
  • Rental agreements and prepaid rent
  • Security deposits
  • Eviction
  • Installment contracts
  • Credit card interest rates
  • Mortgage interest rates
  • Mortgage foreclosure
  • Civil judicial proceedings
  • Income tax payments.

If you think you have rights under the SCRA, you should discuss the matter with a legal assistance attorney or a civilian lawyer right away. You should also contact your county child support office as soon as possible.

Action required

Most SCRA protections do not happen automatically. You may have to take action to invoke your rights. A special web page with information for Supporting Military Families is on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.

Power of attorney

You may appoint a person as power of attorney (POA) prior to your deployment. The POA may conduct both personal and legal business on your behalf. Like an attorney, the POA may invoke your rights under the SCRA. The county will need a copy of the power of attorney document or certificate of representation before discussing your case with your POA.

Cost-of-living adjustments

The SCRA has specific requirements when a cost-of-living adjustment is or is not received.

Passport denial

If you owe $2,500 or more in past due support, your passport will be withheld until you make arrangements with your child support office to pay off the debt. Minnesota requires the debt be paid off before your passport is made available.

Medical support and health care coverage

If your child support order includes health care coverage for your child, your child is eligible for the military health care coverage TRICARE.

Veterans information

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs provides information for returning veterans and their families.

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