Am I still on the hook of paying child support if I lose my job?

Am I still on the hook of paying child support if I lose my job?

Is child support automatically suspended if I lose my job and income? The answer is No. In Wisconsin, the child support will not be modified unless a party files a motion to modify it or two parties reach an agreement on changing the amount and request the court to make it an order to replace the old child support order.

Oftentimes, the judgment or the order governing child support would provide that the party who has child support obligation shall notify the Child Support Agency and the other party within 10 days of any change of employer and of any substantial change in the amount of his or her income. However, notification alone will not change the child support automatically. The payor has to file a motion to change the amount or suspend the payment unless the other party is in agreement with the change and both parties put it in writing as a stipulation and adopted by the court as an Order.

The motion must allege facts and basis for the court to find that there has been a substantial change in circumstances surrounding your unemployment. The court is likely going to consider whether the loss of the employment are reasonable and involuntary, which is caused by something out of your control such as layoffs due to the pandemic, serious medical issues etc. At any time before or after you file a motion, if you and the payee agree to the new amount without the necessity of a hearing, you can submit a written stipulation asking the court to adopt in its order.

Be aware that child support can only be changed starting from the date the motion is filed.  It cannot be changed retroactively, back to the date of your actual income decrease.  It is important to file a motion to modify support as soon as you learn that your income will decrease.

It is imperative that you consult a specialized family law attorney to evaluate your case scenario to see if a change in child support is warranted. Our firm does family law exclusively, feel free to schedule a free consultation with us at (608)-709-5000!

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