5 Common Wisconsin Child Support & Custody Questions Answered

dad and son playing video gamesQuestions about child support and child custody are some of the most common questions we hear from concerned parents.  Here are some of the most common answers to those questions; every situation is different, however, so to get your exact questions answered, contact a local lawyer that can give you answers specific to your case.

Can I stop paying child support if she won’t let me see my kid(s)?

Never stop making child support payments without consulting your lawyer, even if you are not getting a chance to visit your kids. Most courts in Wisconsin hold you accountable for child support, regardless of the amount of time you are spending with the kids. If you don’t make child support payments, you can land in legal hot water and may even be arrested.

If I make my child support payments, do I get more rights to child custody?

No.  The amount of child support and child custody is not legally connected.  Even if you and your child’s other parent have joint custody or you have sole custody, child support is still calculated and paid.

Can the amount of my child support payments be changed?

Child support can be requested and modified periodically.   Be aware that requesting an adjustment to your child support can increase or decrease the amount. In Wisconsin, there are several situations that warrant an increase or decrease in child support payments, such as:

  • If the amount of child support has not been reviewed in the last 33 months;
  • If medical costs change for the child or the parent paying child support;
  • If the earning status of the payer has changed;
  • If the child “ages out” of child support (after graduation of high school);
  • If one party moves a significant distance away from the other;
  • If the placement schedule has changed.

What are some specific circumstances where the amount of child support could be changed?

Here are some specific circumstances that would warrant a change in the amount of child support:

  • if the payer becomes disabled and experiences a change in income,
  • if the physical placement schedule (commonly called child custody, though the two are not exclusive as discussed in our recent post) changes to give a party more time with the child
  • if one party moves to another state making it difficult for them to see the child.

Remember that physical placement and the amount of child support do not always go hand in hand.  One party should NEVER withhold a child support because they are not seeing the child; this decision can have serious legal consequences.

How do I get the amount of child support changed?

To get the amount of child support changed, take these steps:

  • Make an agreement about the amount of child support with the other party in your child support and submit the necessary paperwork (more information and forms are here). The court usually approves the amount, as long as it is not significantly below the amount specified by the state.
  • Ask the child support order to be reviewed by the state (the amount could increase or decrease if you request a review). The amount of child support is calculated based on the payer’s income, number of children, and other factors. Child support can be provided in the way of funds, insurance, and other ways deemed by the authorities.
  • Ask the court to change the order (if the two parties cannot agree).

If you have any questions about child support, contact a local, experienced lawyer for information specific to your case.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.

How do I modify my child support?

Newborn baby hand with parent hand during child support modification caseThough it may seem like it at the time of your divorce or child custody proceedings, child support payments are not set in stone.

When child support can be modified

In Wisconsin, there are several circumstances that can be the basis for modification of child support payments, including:

  • If the amount of child support has not been reviewed in the last 33 months;
  • If medical costs change for the child or the parent paying child support;
  • If the earning status of the payer has changed;
  • If the child “ages out” of child support (after graduation of high school);
  • If one party moves a significant distance away from the other;
  • If the placement schedule has changed.

Examples of some of these circumstances could include if the payer becomes disabled and experiences a change in income, if the physical placement schedule (commonly called child custody, though the two are not exclusive as discussed in our recent post) changes to give a party more time with the child, or one party moves to another state making it difficult for one party to see the child.  With this in mind, remember that physical placement and the amount of child support do not always go hand in hand.  One party should NEVER withhold a child support payment because they are not seeing the child; this decision can have serious legal consequences (as your attorney can inform you).

How child support modification happens

There are three ways to modify your child support payments:

  • Make an agreement about the amount of child support with the other party in your child support and submit the necessary paperwork (more information and forms are here). The court usually approves the amount, as long as it is not significantly below the amount specified by the state.
  • Ask the child support order to be reviewed by the state (the amount could increase or decrease if you request a review). The amount of child support is calculated based on the payer’s income, number of children, and other factors. Child support can be provided in the way of funds, insurance, and other ways deemed by the authorities.
  • Ask the court to change the order (if the two parties cannot agree).

Modifying your child support payments does have legal ramifications (and the risk of payments increasing or decreasing).  If you are concerned about the process or consequences, contact a local, experienced lawyer for information specific to your child support case.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.