:: Child Support
:: Legal Resources
For standard, statewide forms required by all Wisconsin circuit courts for civil, criminal, family, guardianship, juvenile, mental commitment, probate, and small claims cases, click here.
Child Support Bill of Rights - If You Pay Child Support You Should Know
The Child Support Agency does not represent you. However, it may assist you if you apply for its services in any case in which you are involved. You may also retain your own attorney, or represent yourself.
2) Reasons for requesting a change in your child support
If there is a substantial change in circumstances from the time your child support order was entered, i.e., if you lose your job or employment; your hours are reduced resulting in less pay; you are laid off from work; your child(ren) move back into your home; your child has graduated from high school or has attained the age of majority (18), whichever is later; you become unable to work because of health problems, an injury or an accident which affects your ability to pay child support; or, for any other reason you believe your child support order should be modified. (See § 767.32(1), Wis. Stats.)
How do I request the change?
You must bring a motion before the Court to have the child support order modified. A Court has no authority to modify support before a Motion to Modify Support is filed. Informing the Child Support Agency of any of the above does not change your present order. You will be responsible to pay child support under the current court order until the order is changed or modified by the Court. (See paragraph 5 below for further information).
3) Interest on child support arrearages
Interest accrues on arrears at the rate of 12% per annum. A Court has no authority to forgive interest that has already accrued unless the other parent agrees in writing to waive it.
4) Custody and Periodic Physical Placement (Visitation):
If you pay child support because of a divorce, legal separation or a paternity judgment , you likely have rights to periods of physical placement with your minor child unless a court has made a determination after a hearing, that physical placement would be contrary to the child's best interests and you have been advised of what you must do to obtain periods of physical placement.
- To modify those periods of physical placement (visitation) you must bring an action before the court.
- Wisconsin statutes allow you to bring an action under the existing case file.
- If you have a child and have never been married, as the father of the child you may have signed the Wisconsin Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement. This form does not give the father legal custody (the legal right to make decisions for the child) or physical placement (visitation)
- To share legal rights to custody or placement, the father will need to obtain a court order.
- If the State of Wisconsin has brought an action against you in the form of a Support and Maintenance case, seeking reimbursement for paternity related costs and seeking child support, etc., you may bring an action to establish custody, physical placement and child support under the present case file.
- If there is no action on file in the State of Wisconsin, an action would need to be commenced by filing a Summons and Petition to establish paternity or contact the local Child Support Agency for assistance.
- Forms to modify your present child support order and forms to modify or establish custody and/or physical placement periods are available from the Clerk of Court office. The Clerk of Court is not allowed to give legal advice. The office can also provide website information, information on a free legal clinic at the LE Phillips Library, and information for an Attorney who offers for sale, self-help forms.
Is there a charge?
The cost for each packet of forms is $5.00. The fee to file a Motion To Change Child Support is $30.00. The fee to file a Motion To Change Custody and/or Periods of Physical Placement is $50.00.
What if I cannot afford the filing fee?
If you are Indigent (without funds to bring the motion) you may qualify for a waiver of the fees. Ask the clerk for a form to request a waiver for the filing and service fees.