Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities




Enforcing Child Support Orders


Local child support agencies monitor cases to ensure court orders are being followed. Federal guidelines require a local child support agency to take action in cases when a payer is more than one month behind in making payments. A child support agency may take increasing enforcement action, usually starting with letters to the paying parent in an attempt to collect past-due support before any other enforcement actions begin.

Enforcement Actions Taken by Child Support Agencies

Child support agencies have many tools to help them enforce child support orders. Click on items below to learn more about each enforcement tool used to collect child support.

Actions taken automatically by law when a court order is issued:

Initial actions used to collect money when a parent owes past-due support:

Actions taken automatically by law when the amount of past-due support reaches a certain level:

Actions taken on a case by case basis, decided by the child support agency:


Parents paying support: To avoid increasing past-due support if your income goes down, please contact your local child support agency.