Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I apply for services?

You must complete an application for services, and mail it  to the Child Support Agency, 160 S. Macy St., Fond du Lac, WI 54935.  You may also pick up an application in person at the Child Support Agency or request an application be mailed to you by phoning 920-929-3057 or  download an application.

How do I change my child support order?

In order to change an existing order, a new court order must be entered. The following are a few options:

  1. If it has been over three years since your order was entered or last reviewed you can request that the Child Support Agency review your case to see if it warrants a financial adjustment.  If your case has been reviewed and determined that it does not warrant a financial adjustment by the Child Support Agency at this time, you will receive a written statement.
  2. You may file your own motion with the court to modify your court order.
  3. You and the other parent can file a Stipulation and Order agreeing to modify the current child support order.  The Stipulation and Order can be found in the "forms" sidebar.

How do I file my own motion with the court?

You may hire an attorney, consult with a pro se organization to help you prepare the paper work or file your own motion with the court.  You may download Wisconsin Circuit Court forms online (select “forms” and from that dropdown menu, select “Circuit Court”, then "family” and "post judgment") for the Notice of Motion and Motion to change: Legal Custody, Physical Placement, Child Support or Spousal Maintenance.

My child is in foster care and the child support money I was receiving from my ex-husband is now going to the State of Wisconsin. I’ve received an appointment letter stating I must go to the Child Support Agency to establish an order for me to pay. Why must I pay if you are already getting my ex-husbands child support?

All parents have a duty and obligation to support their child(ren) no matter where the child(ren) resides. The law requires that both parents are individually liable for supporting a child placed in substitute care.

Does an adjustment or modification always increase the current child support order?

No, an adjustment could raise or lower the current support order.

My girlfriend/ex-wife is no longer receiving public assistance. Why is the Child Support Agency still enforcing the order?

If there is an order in effect, it does not matter if public assistance is being received or not, the child support order does not stop unless the parents reconcile or a parent terminates parental rights.

My order allows me time with my children, but the father of my children is not letting me see them. Can I stop paying support?

No. Wisconsin family law draws a very definite line between the issues of physical placement and child support. No parent can withhold court ordered support because they are denied court ordered periods of visitation. Likewise, no parent can deny court ordered visitations because the other parent is withholding court ordered support payments. If you are being denied visitation rights, contact the Family Court Commissioner’s Office. It is important to remember that the Wisconsin Child Support program and its representatives have NO authority to create, change, or enforce custody and physical placement provisions. Even though we can sympathize with your situation we cannot give you legal advice.

The children are living with me now. Why am I still paying support to their mother?

Your order for support will continue until the Court suspends your obligation. If you and the mother agree, you can contact the Family Court Commisioner's office to purchase and complete a Parenting Plan changing placement to file with the Court.  You may then request the services of the Child Support Agency to change the obligation or contact an attorney, pro se organization or file your own motion before the Court.

My ex-wife doesn’t spend the support money on our kids. What can be done?

The money a parent spends on housing, utilities and food are expenses that are shared with the children. If you believe your children are not being adequately fed, clothed and housed, you may contact the county social services agency where your children live. Neither the state nor the federal government has jurisdiction over how the child support payments are spent.

I'm not working now. Why do I still have to pay the same amount of child support?

Your child support order is based on DCF 150, the Percentage of Income Standard, and your gross income at the time the order was entered or earning capacity and does not terminate when you are not employed.

How do I know if a payment was received? Has the child support payment been mailed yet?

Participants inquiring about payments received by WISCTF and subsequently disbursed by WISCTF are to be referred to call the IVR line (1-800-991-5530).

Why do I still have a warrant for my arrest against me when I'm now making payments?

If you have a warrant for your arrest and you start making payments, the warrant will not be vacated automatically. This is a matter that will need to be ordered by the court. If you are in this situation, you should contact the Child Support Agency immediately to talk with your Specialist to negotiate an agreement to have the commitment vacated.

How do I find out if my name is on the Child Support Lien Docket?

If your name is placed on the lien docket because of payments missed in the amount of $500 or greater, you will be sent a one time Notice of Lien Docket and Credit Bureau Reporting. The notice will tell you the amount of the lien on the date that it was placed on the docket. This notice also describes your rights and procedures for disputing the lien amount.  You may contact your Specialist in the Child Support Agency if you have further questions.

How long will the Wisconsin Support Collections Trust Fund take to process my payments?

WI SCTF will process the support payments the same day they are received Monday through Saturday. KIDS will issue payments to be mailed or direct deposited in your bank account within two business days.

I will have an additional child to support by Court order.  Will there be a difference in the amount of support currently being received by my original family?

If a payer has more than one family to support or more than one support-related obligation, the payments will be pro-rated across the payers’ cases. Payments are distributed first to families with minor children for current support and additional amounts are distributed to child support arrears or other support-related debts. Therefore payees may notice a difference in the amount they receive and the timing of these payments.

The father of my children does not want a Notice of Income Withholding to go to his employer. He prefers to pay me directly. Is this all right?

Income withholding is mandatory in Wisconsin because it is convenient to both parents and greatly reduces the possibility of late payments or arrearages. Generally, only self-employed paying parents do not participate in immediate income withholding.

I got notice that my taxes were intercepted; however, my recent billing statement doesn’t reflect the payment. Where did my money go?

The paying parent receives notice from the IRS or Department of Revenue that his/her tax refund has been intercepted. The state child support system usually receives the tax intercept monies four to six weeks after the paying parent receives this notice.

Besides paying my current support, I am making payments on the child support arrears and birth expenses. I am being charged interest on the back support and I just received notice that my taxes are going to be intercepted. Can you do this? What can I do?

Wisconsin law requires that missed child support debts be charged simple interest of .5% per month on the unpaid amount even if you are making payments on the arrears. Under federal law, the Bureau of Child Support is required to intercept federal tax refunds in any case when the court ordered payee received public assistance and the arrears total $150.00 or more or non-public assistance cases when arrears total $500.00 or more the Bureau of Child Support is required to intercept state tax.

I owe back child support and I know my taxes will be intercepted. I am remarried and am concerned you will intercept my new wife’s tax return. Will this happen?

Yes. If you file a joint return, you should file an Injured Spouse Claim, (Downloadable under "forms" catagory) the IRS will pro-rate the refund. It may be easier for you both to file separately. Contact your tax preparer for filing advice.

I am not getting any child support. I want the court ordered payer in jail but the Child Support Agency just sends him/her a letter. I want him/her arrested. What can I do?

There are many possible steps taken to enforce court orders. The Child Support Agency will first send up to two enforcement warning letters. If there is no response from the payer, your case will be assessed for the next appropriate action. Before any payer can be arrested he/she must first be either found in contempt of court or unable to be located to be served. The Child Support Agency cannot just arrest someone without going through due process and obtaining an order of the Court.

My youngest child turned 18 in February, but doesn’t graduate until June. When will my child support obligation stop?

Most support obligations end at 18 years of age unless the child is pursuing a high school diploma or its equivalent but not later than 19 years old. The Child Support Agency will request that the payee provide documentation of high school status just before the child’s 18th birthday.

The court ordered payer is remarried. The new spouse makes a lot of money. Can the amount I receive for child support be based on the spouse’s income also?

No. The responsibility for supporting a child rests with the parents of the child. Under Wisconsin law a stepparent has no legal responsibility to support the children of his/her new spouse.


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