Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

 

 

Reviewing a Court Order for a Change

Having an order changed is often referred to as order modification. Only a court can change a child support order. Options to modify an order for support are as follows:

  • If both parents can agree to a new payment amount, they may file a Stipulation and Order to Amend Judgment form with the local County Clerk of Court's office. There is no filing fee for this type of request.
  • A parent may file a motion to modify the order pro se with the local County Clerk of Court's office. If both parents do not agree to the terms, there is a $30 filing fee for this type of request that requires a court date.
  • A parent may hire an attorney to file an action on their behalf.
  • A parent may request a review of their child support case from their local child support agency. There is no fee for this service.

If a parent requests a review of their case from the local child support agency, the agency has up to 180 days to complete the review. A child support agency may deny the request, attempt to facilitate an agreement with the other parent, or set a court date for review by a judge.

The order review looks at three issues:

  • Does the dollar amount in the child support order follow the Percentage of Income Guidelines?
  • Does the court order include medical support?
  • Has there been a substantial change in circumstances since the last order?

Find out how the child support agency decides to proceed on a request to review a case below

A review WILL be done when:

  • A parent gets cash assistance benefits for the children, and the order has not been reviewed for three years.
  • A parent asks for a review, and the order has not been reviewed in three years.
  • A court orders the review.

A review MIGHT be done when:

  • A parent hires an attorney to ask the court for a review.
  • A parent asks the court for a review by filing his or her own motion.
  • The last review was less than three years ago, but there has been a substantial change in circumstance.
  • Examples of a substantial change in circumstance

    • The paying parent receives a raise or decrease in salary that would lead to a monthly change in the support order of more than $50.
    • The court changes a child's placement, and the child is now placed with the parent who is ordered to pay support.
    • The paying parent is no longer responsible to pay support for an older child on a case, and a lower monthly support amount is requested.
    • The parent getting support now receives public assistance benefits, and the order is old or no support was ordered.

A review WILL NOT be done when:

  • A parent has no legal duty to provide current support. For example, all children are legal adults, or the parental rights were terminated for one parent.
  • Good Cause has been found or is pending for a parent enrolled in the W-2 program.
  • The order is from another state, and that other state manages the support order.
  • The whereabouts of a parent are unknown.
  • The paying parent has voluntarily reduced his or or income.
  • A parent has been convicted of a crime against a child.