How To Modify or Change Child Support in Wisconsin

Child support letters and cashOnce a child support order has been established, in Wisconsin, it can only be changed or modified if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. How do you modify or change child support in Wisconsin? If you can prove there has been a substantial change, then you must file a motion and schedule a hearing before the family court commissioner or the judge.  You can also file a Stipulation with the court if you and the other parent can reach an agreement.  All of these forms are available here:  Wisconsin Family Law Forms.

What does a substantial change in circumstances mean when addressing child support?  That is often up to the court but some common examples are:

1.  A substantial change in the income of either party.  The definition of “substantial” is often based on the facts of the situation but usually this requires a change in gross income of at least $5,000 per year or more.  Keep in mind this is relative, however.  If a $5,000 change in gross income only results in a $50 per month change in child support, that would generally not be considered to be substantial.

2.  The Wisconsin statutes provide that if at least 33 months has passed since the last child support order, a substantial change in circumstances is presumed to have occurred.

3.  A child “ages out” by reaching the age of 18 or graduates from high school.

4.  A change in the placement schedule.

5.  A move by one party or the other resulting in additional transportation costs.

6.  A substantial change in the needs of either parent or the child.  For example, if a child develops special needs, incurs unusual costs or if a parent becomes disabled.

If any of these changes apply to your situation or you believe you may have grounds to modify or change your child support order, you should seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney to determine exactly what your options are and what the likely results will be if you file a request to change your child support order.

The experienced attorneys at Nelson, Krueger & Millenbach, LLC offer free initial office consultations and we frequently deal with this kind of situation.  If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with one of our attorneys, please contact us at 414-258-1644.

4 thoughts on “How To Modify or Change Child Support in Wisconsin

  1. Can the court order me to pay child support if my daughter and I live on SSI? I have paid a total of $700 in child support from SSI money plus they took my car title. My ex-husband never had to pay child support for my daughter who stayed with me, they said he didn’t have to pay because she got SSI. They are now trying to get me for contempt of court for non payment. I owe over $11,000 now and I have told them that we live on SSI but they don’t listen. Also, the court here gave my ex-husband my youngest son who is not his biological child and wasn’t born until 2 year after our divorce and we were not in a relationship when I got pregnant with him. Child support refused to do a paternity test, they all know he is not my sons father since it was brought up in several hearings, and they’re making me pay child support for him. Can they be sued since ordering me to pay child support while living on SSI and no other income is against Federal law?

    • Something here definitely does not make sense. To answer your question, SSI can NOT be considered as income for child support purposes. Either there are facts that you are not stating or the court has something against you. I strongly suggest that you consult with an experienced family law attorney in your area right away. I understand you may not have the funds to hire someone if you are disabled, but most attorneys offer a free consultation and/or payment plans. An attorney can go through all of the facts of your situation with you and perhaps answer why this happened to you. From there, you can decide what you need to do.

      • The Judge and district attorney here in Iron county Wisconsin are extremely corrupt and do what ever they want. Many people have filed complaints on them including myself but that got us nowhere so a group of us publicly exposed them which started with the Don Miller case who is a man that spent 16 years out of a 42 year sentence for a crime he did not commit. The DA had destroyed DNA evidence prior to his trial and the judge was having a sexual relationship with the alleged victim who was Don’s girlfriend at that time. They have violated my rights on several occasions also. With my custody battles with my kids (my youngest son) it seems like this court is claiming that my ex-husband has rights to him based on the equitable parent doctrine to justify them giving him physical placement even though they have never used that term. Probably because they can’t because the Wisconsin Supreme Court “declined to employ the equitable parent doctrine because its parameters are too indistinct and because permitting its use would create uncertainties in the law. It further concludes that to the extent the equitable parent doctrine has been employed in the past “we preclude” its application in the future.” Randy A.J. v Norma I.J. 2004 WI 41. Yeah, I did some research this weekend. If I’ve got any of this wrong then please explain the law of the equitable parent doctrine against a natural parent to me since I am not a lawyer. I have never been found to be an unfit parent either even though my ex has tried to claim that in court several times. I’m not sure what to do or what I can file at this point about my rights to my son and my right being violated. I don’t even know if they can be sued. And, thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my post.

        • I’m sorry but I can’t give you legal advice. It is always dangerous for a lay person to try to interpret and/or apply legal doctrines or case law, especially in a divorce or family action which often has different rules that apply. Again, I strongly advise you to seek the advice of an experienced family attorney.

We welcome your comments or questions. We will do our best to try to respond. However, please be advised that we cannot give legal advice in this forum and all communications are for general informational purposes only. Communication should not be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship. This is an open forum and any information you provide may be posted and will not be held confidentially. By posting a comment or question, you are expressly giving consent for the publication of same. If you have any specific legal issues or concerns, we always recommend that you consult with an attorney in the county and state in which you reside.

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