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Modifying Child Support/Custody in Wisconsin: What You Need to Know

| Jun 9, 2016 | Post-Decree Modifications

Whether a divorce is contentious or amicable, both parties acknowledge that the process is difficult and complicated. They not only need to agree on dividing assets, but, if they have children, they must also agree on the terms of custody and child support.

While property and asset decisions are permanent, those regarding your children do not have to be. Because circumstances often change which can have positive or negative effects on you as a parent, it is important to be aware of child custody/support modification procedures in Wisconsin.

What Is Needed To Modify A Child Support Order

  • Waiting period: According to Wisconsin Statute 767.451, after the court approves a child custody arrangement, both parents must wait two years before requesting any changes to the initial judgment. This is to ensure that all parties have adequate time to adjust to the new changes.
  • Modification: A parent may file a motion with the court requesting a modification/review for child custody and/or support. If you provide sufficient evidence of a substantial change, the court will likely approve your request. Examples of substantial changes are:
    • income or employment
    • health
    • substance abuse or other criminal behavior
  • Review: Both parents will receive a notice every three years asking if you would like the court to review your terms of child support. You may also independently ask for a review from your local child support agency in Milwaukee. If the agency approves, both parents must sign another agreement (called a stipulation). In the event that one parent does not agree, the court will intervene and decide what is in the best interest of the child/children.

To ensure the smoothest possible course during any of these proceedings, finding the right attorney is key. You want to make no mistakes when it comes to the welfare of your children. Your lawyer will be your advocate and help you step by step to achieve the best outcome for you and your family.

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