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Is It Possible to Modify My Existing Wisconsin Child Support Order?

 Posted on July 23, 2020 in Family Law

Oconomowoc divorce attorney child support

When you get divorced as a parent, there are many extra things that you have to deal with that a childless person getting a divorce does not. In addition to deciding what you are going to do with the marital home, how you will split up your retirement funds, and who gets to keep the family pet, you will also have to determine how parenting time will be split up, where the children will live, and who will pay child support. Typically, the noncustodial parent, or the parent with the least amount of parenting time, is the one who pays child support to the other parent. Child support exists until the child turns 18 or finishes high school, but the terms of the support are not technically set in stone. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to have your child support order modified in Wisconsin.

Reviewing a Child Support Order

The first step in having your child support order changed is having it reviewed by the court. When the court reviews a child support order, it is looking to see if the order follows the percentage of income guidelines, whether or not the order includes medical support, and whether or not there has been a significant change in circumstances since the last review or since the orders were established. The court does not hear all petitions for review, however.

Usually, a review will be conducted if any of the following apply:

  • A parent receives cash assistance benefits and a review has not been done for three years.

  • A parent asks for the review and one has not been conducted in three years.

  • A court orders the review.

A review might be conducted if any of the following apply:

  • A parent files his or her own motion for a review of the order.

  • A parent hires an attorney to ask the court to review the order.

  • The noncustodial parent is incarcerated.

  • There is a substantial change in circumstances.

A review will typically not be conducted if any of the following apply:

  • No legal duty exists for a parent to provide support to a child. For example, if the child in question is now a legal adult or the parent’s rights have been terminated.

  • The child support order originates from another state that also manages the order.

  • The location or whereabouts of a parent is unknown.

  • The paying parent has purposefully taken a pay cut.

What Constitutes a Change in Circumstances?

The most common reason that a parent will ask the court for a review of a child support order is that something significant changed in his or her life. This reason would fall under a change in circumstances and might also qualify the order for review and modification before the typical three-year waiting period is up. Examples of a change in circumstances might include:

  • The noncustodial parent is now in jail or prison.

  • The paying parent has a substantial increase or decrease in monthly income that would affect the support order by more than $50 each month.

  • The court-approved parenting time changes and the support amount needs to be recalculated or the paying parent is now becoming the receiving parent.

  • A child on the support order turns 18 or graduates from high school and the order needs to be lowered to reflect the end of the parent’s legal obligation to support.

Contact a New Berlin Divorce Attorney 

The child support modification process can be daunting, even for parents who know they deserve a change in their support orders. A Wisconsin child support order can only be altered after approval by the court, which is why having a Waukesha County child support modification lawyer on your side can be beneficial. At Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, we can help you petition the court for a review if you believe that your child support order needs to be adjusted. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 262-232-6699.




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