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Modifying Child Support and How it is Done in Wisconsin

 Posted on December 30, 2021 in Criminal Law

waukesha child support lawyerComing to a mutual child support agreement is challenging for both parents, and modifying that same arrangement can be problematic. Not only are changes difficult, but the timing of those revisions needs to be considered. Under Wisconsin law, noncustodial parents are obligated to make child support payments until the child is 18 years old, or 19 if the child is still in high school or working towards their GED. Knowing when to make changes to a Child Support Order and how to go about it are crucial, so is understanding how to receive your owed support from a non-compliant noncustodial parent. 

When Can Changes in the Child Support Agreement be Made?

In Wisconsin, there is a 33-month waiting period before any modifications can be made to the initial child support agreement. Rare exceptions can be made if there is a significant change in circumstances, including a change in either parent’s income, health needs of the child changing, or either parent being placed in jail. A few misconceptions about what constitutes a change in the agreement include failing to follow visitation rules, the custodial parent legally moving with the child, or either parent voluntarily leaving their job. Changes in the child support agreement can only occur once every three years, and the court will determine whether or not if a review will be ordered.

How to Change a Child Support Order

Before an order is changed, it is reviewed by a local child support agency and/or by the court. If a child support agency is providing you services, they can write up an agreement for both parents to sign, but the court has to approve any revisions made to the agreement. If the court orders a review, both parents will be required to provide their current financial information. When a child support order is changed, the amount of support can increase, decrease, or stay the same. If the support amount stays the same, adding medical support to the court order is a possibility. Any changes that are made will not take effect until the court has signed the order. 

When the Noncustodial Parent Refuses to Pay Child Support

An ideal scenario is when both parties come to an agreement outside of court, and each parent honors their end of the child support arrangement. When the noncustodial parent ceases to pay child support, the Department of Children and Families in Waukesha has multiple support enforcement options, including:

Wage Garnishment: Any lapses in the child support agreement almost always leads to an employer garnishing the wages of a delinquent parent. Wisconsin has very strict withholding laws, so employers can direct up to 65 percent of income to the custodial parent.

Payment Intercept: The state has the ability to redirect stimulus checks, insurance payouts, tax refunds, and inheritance receipts owed to the custodial parent.

Harm to the Parent’s Personal and Professional Reputation: Noncustodial parents who discontinue their support payments will be added to the Wisconsin “deadbeat dad” list. In addition to the embarrassment that comes with being on this list, these individuals will have a more difficult time finding jobs and receiving loans.

Contact a Waukesha Child Support Lawyer for Help

For a free consultation, contact Milwaukee County child support attorneys Peter Wolff and Ronald Sonderhouse at 262-232-6699.



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