Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities




Fees Paid by the Parent Getting Support

Annual Custodial Parent (CP) Fee

The $35 annual CP fee is used to pay back the state and the federal government for part of the cost of providing child support services. The federal government requires states to charge the fee, and it cannot be waived. Certain child support cases are not charged the fee, as outlined below.

Cases that are charged the annual $35 fee (as of October 1, 2019)

  • The fee is charged each year, after October 1, when a child support case receives $550 or more in support for the year.
  • The fee will be taken out of the support payment before the payment is sent to the parent. Because of this, you may notice that your regular payment is $35 less than it normally is.
  • In cases where another state is providing child support services, that other state charges and collects the annual fee.

Cases that are NOT charged the annual fee

  • The fee is not charged to parents or guardians who currently receive or have ever received cash benefits from the W-2, SSI Caretaker Supplement, Kinship Care, or AFDC programs.
  • Tribal child support cases are not charged the fee.
  • Spousal-support-only cases are not charged the fee.

CP Fee Increase - Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I have to pay this fee?

The fee increase is required by federal Public Law 115-123, which was signed into law on February 9, 2018. Section 53117 of PL 115-123, modernizing child support enforcement fees, amends, Section 454 (6) (B) (ii) of the Social Security Act to increase the annual collection fee from $25.00 to $35.00. In addition, the law revises the amount from $500.00 to $550.00 that the state must collect and disburse to the family before imposing the CP fee each federal fiscal Year (October 1 through September 30). This fee is also authorized under Wis. Stat. § 767.57(1e)(c). Anyone who has ever received AFDC or W2 cash assistance (including Caretaker Supplement and or/Kinship Care) is not required to pay the fee.

Who pays the fee?

The person receiving support pays the fee. The child support computer system will automatically deduct the fee from your next payment after the first $550 of support you receive in the year.

What dates constitute a year?

This fee is based on the federal fiscal year, which starts on October 1 and ends on September 30 of the next year. The fee will be deducted once each year from your support payments after you receive $550 or more during the federal fiscal year.

Can I pay the fee myself?

No, it must be automatically deducted before the child support, maintenance or arrears payments are sent to you.

Can I pay the $35 by making smaller payments during the year?

No, payments will be automatically deducted from your support until the entire $35 charge is paid. Federal law requires that after $550 has been paid to you, the $35 must be deducted to pay the fee.

If I have more than one court case, do I owe the fee on each court case?

Yes, if you get support from more than one payer (more than one court case), the fee will be deducted from each case where at least $550 in support is collected and sent to you.

Why is this fee being charged to the person receiving support rather than the NCP (non-custodial parent)?

The NCP is charged a Receiving and Disbursing (R & D) fee of $65.00 per year. The R & D fee helps pay the costs for operating the child support computer system.

Where does the $35.00 fee go?

The fees collected are used to help pay the costs for operation of the child support program. Since the federal government pays 2/3 of the costs of the child support program, the fee is split between the federal government and the state to help fund the child support program.

I do not receive child support enforcement services from the county child support agency; do I still have to pay the fee?

Yes, in Wisconsin, all child support payments go through the Support Collections Trust Fund and the KIDS system even for cases that are not receiving enforcement services from the county child support agency.

If I was on welfare cash assistance in another state, will I get charged the fee?

We may not know you received welfare cash assistance in another state. If you get charged a fee and you received welfare cash assistance, please provide proof of former AFDC or TANF cash assistance from the other state to your county child support agency.

Tax Intercept Fee

If you receive a support payment from a tax refund, the fee is 10% of each collection over $10, and:

  • The fee will not be more than $25.
  • The fee is taken out of the intercepted tax refund payment before it is sent to the parent.
  • No fee is charged on any portion of the intercepted tax refund used to pay support owed to the state.
  • This fee cannot be waived.

Debit Card Fees

The bank that manages the child support debit card charges fees for some card services, such as using an out-of-network ATM, replacing a lost card, and having transactions denied.