Established in 1975 the IV-D program was invented raise the standard of living for children by enforcing their right to receive financial support from both of their parents. The child support program assists families with collecting much needed child support from parents who are not in the home.
What is Child Support?
Child Support is a financial support paid by a parent to help support a child or children of whom they do not have custody. Child support can be entered into voluntarily or ordered by a court or a properly empowered administrative agency, depending on each State's laws.
Mothers and fathers may ask The Wisconsin Child Support Agency to help establish legal fatherhood. Even if the parents live together, establishing legal fatherhood ensures the child's rights as well as the rights of both parents. If the parents were not married, legal fatherhood has to be decided before a court will order child support. Child support agencies also offer genetic testing at a reduced cost.If a child was conceived or born when the parents were married, the husband is the legal father.
No further action will be taken by the Wisconsin Child Support program. Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment is the easiest way for an unmarried father to put his name on his baby's birth certificate. The other ways involve the courts. By signing the Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment form, both parents are establishing their baby's paternity. Signing this form legally establishes paternity. This means the court may order support for the baby without having a court hearing to prove who the father is.
Support could include paying for medical bills and providing health insurance. Support is owed until the baby becomes an adult. This form does not give the father legal custody (the legal right to make decisions for the baby) or physical placement (visitation). Under Wisconsin law, the unmarried mother has sole legal custody until a court orders otherwise. If the father and mother cannot agree on custody and placement, the father will need to get a court order.
Both parents will then have to prepare a Parenting Plan. The court will decide what is best for the child. Custody and placement issues can be discussed with your county's or tribe's family court counseling service. Parents should contact their family court commissioner's office for counseling services.
Paternal Interest Registry
In Wisconsin, a parent must be notified before their parental rights are terminated or their child is adopted. However, if the child's father is not married to the mother, or has not acknowledged his paternity, or been found to be the father by a court, it may be difficult to locate the father and give notice. The Wisconsin Paternal Interest Registry is a way for putative (possible) fathers to get notice if their child is involved in a termination of parental rights or adoption.
Only a court can set or change a Wisconsin Child Support order. Wisconsin courts use the guidelines in the Child Support Percentage of Income Standard for setting support amounts. The standard assumes that both parents share part of their income with their children when they live together, and should do so when they live apart.Either parent or both parents may be ordered to provide medical support for their child.Repaying Birth Costs
When single, separated, and divorced parents apply for the Badger Care Plus program, some of these parents are referred to Child Support program for services.
Child Support & Aid/Benefit Programs
W-2, SSI Caretaker Supplement, & Kinship Care programsIf you get any W-2 service (including child care help from the Wisconsin Shares program) or get cash benefits from the SSI Caretaker Supplement or Kinship Care programs:
Badger Care Plus program
If you are in the Badger Care Plus program and are referred to the Child Support program:
Good Cause is a good reason for not cooperating with the child support program when getting W-2 services, cash benefits, or Badger Care Plus benefits.
Good Cause exists when:
If you believe you or your children might be harmed if you cooperate with the child support agency, talk with your aid/benefits case worker, and file a Good Cause claim. The aid/benefits agency will decide whether or not Good Cause exists.Job Loss
By law, you must tell your Wisconsin Child Support agency within 10 days if you lose your job, if your income changes, if you get a new job, or if you change jobs. These changes will not change your court ordered payment amounts. Your court order for support continues after a job loss. (Only a court can change an order.) If your job loss is expected to last longer than 6 to 8 weeks, you can ask to have your court order reviewed for a change. This is not automatic. If child support payments were taken out of your paycheck, child support payments will now be withheld from your Unemployment Insurance checks.
Wisconsin Child Support Customer Service
Department of Children and Families
201 East Washington Avenue, Second Floor
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