Collecting Retroactive Child Support in Wisconsin

May 5, 2017 Parenting & Kids, Post-Divorce, Property, Debt, & Finances

When can you collect back child support owed? From the birth of the children? From the time you separate? From the time you file a motion with the court? From the time the other party is served with the motion for court? From the time you are in court and the court orders support?

Under the current state of law in the state of Wisconsin, you are only entitled to retroactive child support from the point in time your motion is served on the other party notifying them that you are requesting child support. Absent exigent and extraordinary circumstances, the court cannot go back retroactively any farther than the service date on the other party.

That may seem unfair, but the current concept is you can’t request retroactive support if you have never requested support in the first place. In the “old days, at least in paternity case, the court could go back and set retroactive child support going as far back as the birth of the children. Now, under the current state of the law, it applies only to the point a motion has been filed with the court and the other party was served that a request for child support is being made. In the old days, it worked to absurd results. Imagine the situation where the parties were never married, and for whatever reason, the mother deliberately never pursued paternity. One day she changes her mind when the child is 15 years old and takes her old boyfriend back to court to establish paternity. For 15 years, the guy may have not even known he fathered a child. He has had no relationship with that child for 15 years. Now, the mother wants paternity established, a child support order set, and retroactive child support going back to the birth of the child. The court could require the father, once paternity is established to produce his 20 year social security earnings history and if he made during the last 15 years, collectively $525,000 over that time span, at 17% he would owe $89,250 in back support, plus current support at $495.84. When the legislature changed the law a number of years ago, the courts were now prevented from going backwards for to collect retroactive child support, to avoid this very problem. In many case, it worked itself into an unfair result.

Under the current state of the law, a person is entitled to collect retroactive child support during the time delay between filing the motion, serving the other party, and waiting anywhere from 30 to as much as 120 days for the court hearing. You can be compensated with retroactive child support during that short several month time span, but not before the motion was filed.

If you have questions about child support in the state of Wisconsin, contact the lawyers at Karp and Iancu, S.C. today for a 100% confidential consultation. 414 453 0800 or visit us on the web at