Child Support Modification

Child Support Modification in Wisconsin

Changing a child support order, also known as a child support modification, can only be changed by a court. A common misconception is that your payments will remain the same until child support stops. The truth is, child support is always modifiable. Several factors can raise or lower child support payments, including a change in income for either parent, loss of job by the paying parent, or the needs of the child(ren) evolve in special cases. If you do nothing, your monthly child support payments could increase yearly. Estimate your monthly child support payments with our easy-to-use child support calculator.

When Can I Modify Child Support Payments In WI?

There are several options to modify an order for child support in Wisconsin:

  • If both parents agree to a change in the monthly payment amount, you can file a Stipulation and Order to Amend the Judgement Form with the local County Clerk of Court’s office.
  • If both parents do not agree to a new monthly payment amount, you may file a motion to modify the child support order "pro se" with the local County Clerk of Court’s office. A court date will be required.
  • Hire an attorney to file an action on your behalf.
  • Request a review of the child support case from your local child support agency.
Financial Laws for Child Support in Wisconsin

Unless otherwise agreed upon in writing, both parties of the divorce/child support must exchange financial details by May 1 of each year.

  • A complete copy of federal and state income tax returns for the prior year (All W-2 and 1099 documents)
  • Year-end paycheck stubs from all employers (including year-to-date gross and net income)
  • Any other income documentation from the 12 months prior

*Failing to provide these records risks being held in contempt of court.

Filing for Deviation

State law permits anyone who pays child support to request a deviation from the standard percentage amounts. The deviation is granted if the court determines the standard percentage total is an unfair burden to either of the parties or the child/children.

Considered Factors:

  • The well-being of the child or children
  • The desire for one parent to remain a full-time caregiver to the child or children
  • The cost of childcare if the parent works outside the home
  • Travel expenses for physical custody
  • Educational needs
  • Earning capacity of the individual parents

Requesting a Review from Your Local WI Child Support Agency

If the option to request a review from your local child support agency is chosen, the agency has up to 180 days to complete the review. The agency may deny the request, attempt to mediate an agreement between both parents, or set a court date for review by a judge.

The child support order review will examine 3 issues:

  • Whether the child support amount in the order follows the Percentage of Income Guidelines.
  • Whether the child support order includes medical support.
  • Whether there has been a substantial change in circumstances involving the child since the last order.

The child support agency will use these guidelines to decide how to proceed on a child support review in Wisconsin:

A Review of the Child Support Order WILL Be Done
  • A court orders the review
  • A parent asks for the review and the order has not been reviewed for 3 years
  • A parent gets cash assistance benefits for the children and the order has not been reviewed for 3 years
A Review of the Child Support Order MIGHT Be Done
  • A parent hires an attorney to ask the court for an order review
  • A parent asks the court for an order review by filing their own motion.
  • The noncustodial parent is incarcerated
  • The last review was less than 3 years ago but there has been a significant change in circumstances
Examples of a significant change in circumstance
  • The paying parent’s salary is increased or decreased and would lead to a monthly change in child support of more than $50.
  • The child’s placement is changed by the court and the child is now placed with the paying parent.
  • The paying parent is no longer required to pay support for an older child on a case with multiple children, and a lower monthly payment is requested as a result.
  • The receiving parent is now receiving public assistance benefits and the order is old or no support was ordered.
A Review of the Child Support Order WILL NOT Be Done
  • The paying parent has intentionally taken a decrease in their income.
  • A parent's whereabouts are unknown
  • The order is not from WI, and that other state manages the support order
  • Good cause has been determined or is pending for a parent enrolled in the W-2 program.
  • A parent has no legal obligation to provide child support


Child Support Modification in WI FAQ's

When can I ask for my child support order to be changed?

Can the child support agency change my support order?

What will the court use to determine my income for child support?




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