Many answers to your Child Support questions can be found by clicking on the categories listed on this web page. Some of the more commonly asked questions are below:
My ex was court-ordered to pay child support. Where is my money?
Payment of child support is made to the Wisconsin Support Collection Trust Fund (WI-SCTF), unless your order states otherwise. You can access your information ANYTIME with an on-line account. The account displays payments and account balances. This account also allows payer's to print payment coupons. Ask the Child Support Agency for more information on setting up an on-line account. Check the FINANCIAL section for more information.
What does ESTABLISHING PATERNITY mean?
Paternity means the establishment of a legalfather for a child born to unmarried parents. It is in the best interest of the child to have paternity established, as this creates the legal relationship between a child and the father. Paternity establishment gives the child inheritance rights and access to future benefits through the father (such as social security and veteran's benefits). Check the PATERNITY section for more information.
If a child is born outside of marriage, there is no legal father until paternity is established. To establish paternity, a State of Wisconsin Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment form can be completed and filed, or paternity can be establishedthrough a court action. The man's name will not be put on the birth certificate until he becomes the legal father. Check the PATERNITY section for more information.
My ex is making more money, now. Shouldn't I get more child support?
Over time, circumstances may change. If a change is substantial, a modification, or change in the order, may be needed. To change the child support order, parties may do a Stipulation and Order, obtain a Pro Se Modification packet from the Clerk of Courts, or hire an attorney. Check the ORDER MODIFICATION section for more information.
A review is a procedure to look at an existing child support order. The review is done by the county child support agency upon request of either parent. A review can be requested by any party to the case at any time. Every three years, the child support agency will notify both parents of their right to ask for a review of their child support order.
An adjustment will be pursued IF the review shows a substantial change in circumstances (for example, the paying parent's employer closes down, or the paying parent has a new job and is making a lot more money). The change in the child support amount must be greater than 15% of the current order, or the difference must be more than $50.00 each month, to be deemed substantial by our agency.
An adjustment of an order requires a new order. This can be done by PRO SE Stipulation and Order, which is an agreement between the parties of a case. Check the ORDER MODIFICATION section for more information.
My ex is not paying me now. Will you send my ex to jail?
When a payer is seriously behind in child support payments, or is not complying the conditions of an order to seek work, a CONTEMPT proceeding may be considered. If the court finds a person is in contempt of court, the court may order a jail sentence of up to six months, but will set "purge" conditions. The purge conditions may be an amount of money that the person must pay or it may be actions that the person must take to avoid jail. Check the ORDER ENFORCEMENT sections for more information.
Will my tax refund be taken for child support?
The tax intercept program is one tool used by the Child Support Agency to assist with child support collection. The tax intercept program allows the Child Support Agency to intercept a payer's federal and state tax refund, and apply the refund to past-due child support and/or birth expenses. In general, a State tax intercept will be applied to current support due, then to past-due support (arrears), then to other debts. A Federal tax intercept will be applied to past due support that is assigned, such as birth expenses.
The U.S. Treasury and the state DOR will mail a notice to the payer when they intercept a refund. The notice will indicate the amount that was intercepted and where the money was sent. See the FINANCIAL section for more information.
My account says I owe arrears. What does that mean?
Past-due, or unpaid child support, accumulates as arrears. WI Statutes state that a party ordered to pay child support shall pay simple interest per month on any amount in arrears that is equal to or greater than the amount of child support due in one month. For example, if the current order is for $200.00 per month, and the payer does not pay for 2 months, the total arrears would be $400.00, and interest would be charged each month on the arrears balance. See the FINANCIAL section for more information.
What is the $25 “CP FEE” and is that my money?
Federal regulations (Deficit Reduction Act of 2005) require states to collect an annual fee from the court-ordered payee in each federal case that has not received TANF cash assistance or AFDC and that has received at least $500.00 in the federal fiscal year. This fee was effective October 1, 2008, and is deducted from the child support payment once the $500.00 has been collected. Check the FINANCIAL section for more information.
What is the RD fee and why do I have to pay it?
The State of Wisconsin charges the receiving and disbursing fee (R&D fee) for maintaining the payment record on a family case. The fee is charged per year for any case that has a child support, family support, maintenance, medical obligation, or arrears. It is paid by the court ordered payer on the case. See the FINANCIAL section for more information.