Making Child Support Payments
State law requires that all orders for support include income withholding by the payer’s employer. Income withholding is required whether or not the payer owes past-due support. The law requires withholding support from all income, including commissions, earnings, salaries, wages, pension benefits, and other money due or to be due in the future. Child support may also be withheld from unemployment payments, workers’ compensation checks, pension payments, and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits.
Time limits for sending income withholdings to the Trust Fund, processing payments, and sending payments to families are set by federal regulations and state law. The Trust Fund is the payment processing center and processes all payments every day except Sundays and holidays. Each payment is posted to the child support system overnight, and can be seen on the Child Support Online Services website the next business day. It generally takes another 2-business days before the payments are posted to a debit card or direct deposit account. So, if the payment is posted to the child support system on a Friday, the money will be on the debit card or in the direct deposit account the following Tuesday.Please Note: The first payment from income withholding and the first payment to a debit card account take longer than payments that will follow.
Ways to Pay Support
While Income Withholding is the way most support is collected, there are other ways you can make a support payment. These options do not replace income withholding, but they are useful if you are self employed, between jobs, or if you want to pay extra toward your past-due support.
Whichever way you choose, all support must be paid through the Wisconsin Support Collections Trust Fund. This is not only a state law, but this is the only way you can be sure that you get credit for your payments.
How Support is Paid Out
Federal rules and state law control how support collections are paid out.
Most payments received during a month will be applied to the following kinds of debts in this order:
- Current support, medical support, or alimony due in that month on all court orders
- Any other periodic payments on past-due amounts (for example: a court order for $50/month on past-due support)
- Any remaining past-due amounts (if any)
- Any interest and fees
Payments on two or more cases or obligations will be paid in the above mentioned order as well. However in certain situations and methods of collection, the support will be paid out in other ways according to the rules. This includes payments from state and federal tax returns, payments to families getting cash benefits, and designated payments.