When parents divorce, both are responsible for properly providing for their children. Children have needs that include a safe place to live, healthy food to eat, and a good education. Generally, children reside with one parent while the other parent has regular visitation. The non-custodial parent often pays child support for their children. Some parents wonder whether they can waive child support. A knowledgeable Wisconsin family law attorney will assist you with the divorce process as well as with any issues that occur after divorce.
What Happens if a Parent Cannot Pay Support?
The judge typically orders child support at the time of divorce. The parent should be able to pay support, but sometimes, circumstances change. If a parent loses his or her job, it could make it difficult to pay child support, at least for a period of time. In Wisconsin, parents are not allowed to waive child support payments. If a parent is not able to make payments, the other parent cannot withhold visitation with the children. Instead, the parent who is unable to pay should seek a legal remedy.
Modification of Child Support
Circumstances can change in a parent or child’s life that might require a modification of child support payments. A parent may request a hearing to review a possible modification if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. For example, if the parent has a large decrease in income, he or she may request a change in the amount of support they pay. Modifications can only be made through court. The judge will review the financial evidence and other circumstances to determine whether a change in support is appropriate.
Can I Halt Child Support?
While you cannot completely waive child support, Wisconsin does allow you to halt it for a period of time. The court will consider halting child support when both parents agree and they can show that there are sufficient funds to properly provide for the child. Parents should create an agreement in writing that offers a fair way to defer child support payments. It is important to ensure that you draft the document to comply with current Wisconsin laws. The judge will review the document and make a decision about putting it into a court order.
Can a Parent Waive Child Support?
As a parent, you cannot waive child support because it is considered payment for a child’s living expenses. One parent cannot threaten the other in an attempt to waive child support payments. A child has a right to support from their parents. The custodial parent can go to court to request child support from the child’s other parent. A parent cannot simply stop paying court-ordered support or make lower payments without a court modification order. If a parent gets behind on child support payments, they could face criminal charges and penalties. If you want to make changes to your support agreement, you must request a court hearing.
Wisconsin courts will always make decisions based on what is in the best interest of the child. If you want to make a change to child support, contact an experienced family law attorney to assist with the legal process. Call us today at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. at (608) 784-8310 or online to request a consultation.