In Wisconsin the Wisconsin Child Support Program is the department of social services that helps parents get and maintain court orders for child support. It enforces those orders as well as making sure that the money is taken in and paid out accurately and on time. The Wisconsin Child Support Program offers financial assistance by way of helping the custodial parent obtain help working with employers to withhold income, as well as other case management services.
Child Support Process in Wisconsin
The first thing that you’ll want to do is get the application filled out. The application, itself, can be found here: http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/forms/pdf/dcf_f_dwsc11053.pdf If you don’t know all of the information that they are asking for on the application, you are urged to leave it blank, and to ask your case worker later. A completely filled in application is necessary to fully process it, though. If you are a legal guardian, then your application will be slightly different. It can be located here: http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/forms/pdf/dcf_f_dwsc11002.pdf
Once you have filled out the application, you will need to sign the back page, then submit the form to your local child support agency. There may be fees for services. A listing of child support agencies and their locations can be found here: http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/bcs/agencylist.htm
Receiving Child Support Payments
Once you’ve submitted the application it can take about 4 weeks or so before they have it processed. If you find yourself in dire straits and needing child support sooner, contact your local office as there are programs designed to temporarily assist you. Once everything is processed you will begin receiving child support payments through the Wisconsin Child Support Program, who will collect it directly from the noncustodial (child does not live with them) parent. They act as the go between for you and the noncustodial parent so that you don’t have to interact with them any more than you deem necessary. This particular agency does not deal with custody or visitation issues, so any disagreement or problem you have with that will have to be determined in court or via a mediation service.
Money will be directly deposited into your bank account, or it will be deposited onto a state sponsored credit card.
If you are the noncustodial parent and need to make a payment, you may so by going here: http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/bcs/csos_signup/player.html and watching the video. This video shows you where to locate the payment portion of the website, how often you must pay, and what the consequences are if you don’t pay.
Generally speaking, the noncustodial parent pays based on the combined gross income (pre-tax) of both parents. Factors that the court considers in determining the income you will pay can be found here: http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/bcs/order/income.htm The guidelines table is based on the number of children and the combined pre-tax monthly income: http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/dcf/101_153/150_a.pdf
Last, but not least, you can use the online calculator, plug in the specifics, then get a ballpark estimate of what you could be looking at when it comes to child support payments: http://www.alllaw.com/calculators/childsupport/wisconsin/ Keep in mind this is just for estimates and is not what the final amount might be. This can be adjusted up or down depending on how the judge rules.