Frequently Asked Questions

Many general child support questions are answered on the State child support website at http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/bcs/


Q: When will my child support obligation stop?

A: Under Wisconsin law, support continues until the child turns 18 years old, or until age 19 if the child is still in school or an equivalent program.  The child support agency will need a letter on letterhead from the school providing proof of the enrollment and the expected date of graduation for child support to continue past the 18th birthday.  If this letter is received after the support has been ended, our agency will reopen the support obligation and continue collection until the 19th birthday or graduation date, whichever occurs first.


Q: How do I change my placement (visitation) or custody of my child(ren)?

A: The Child Support Agency does not handle placement or custody issues.  Please contact the Clerk of Courts office at 715-793-4872 for more information.  If parties obtain a court order in family court, where each parent is given a set visitation schedule and/or placement rights, child support is not notified of this.  A change in placement or amount of placement/overnights parties share could change the amount of child support obligation.  Parties must make sure child support has a copy of a placement order.

Q: How do I get payment information or a copy of the pay history?

A: Parents can get a payment history by calling the Kids Info Line (Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm) or online from the Child Support Online Services site. Parents may choose a list of payments made over the past 90 days, year to date, or all of last calendar year.

Q. How do I obtain copies of my court order(s)?

A: If you were divorced or had a support order in Shawano County or the S/M Tribe, you can obtain a copy of your paperwork at the Clerk of Court's Office.  If you were divorced and/or established a support order in another county or in another state, you will need to contact the Clerk of Court's Office in that county/state to obtain your copies.

Q: How do I report a change in address or employer?

A: If your court case is through S/M Tribal Child Support, please call 715-793-4036 and provide this information.  Hours of operation are 8:00 - 4:30. If you are calling after hours, please leave your full name, phone number, KIDS pin# and the information you are updating on the voice mail system.  If there are any questions regarding the information you have left, someone from the agency will contact you.

Q: Where do I obtain information regarding the uninsured medical expenses that are owed?

A: The Child Support Agency does not handle uninsured medical expense issues.  In order to address this issue, you will need to file a motion in the Family Court against the other party.  You can do this by completing a pro se packet with the Clerk of Courts office (there is a minimal fee), or by contacting a private attorney.

Q: How do I have my child support obligation reviewed?

A: You may hire an attorney, file a pro se (do-it-yourself) motion through the Clerk of Courts or request a review packet through our agency.  If it has been more than 24 months since your order was reviewed, you automatically qualify for a review.  If it has been less, you must demonstrate a "substantial" change in circumstances, such as an increase or decrease in income or a court-ordered change in placement.  We do not review orders based on unpaid medical bills, lack of visitation or other related issues.

Q: How do I find out why I am not receiving my child support payments?

A: If your court case is through S/M Tribal Child Support, please call 715-793-4036 if it has been more than 30 days since your last payment.  Payers have the full month the payment is due to make their support payments before they are considered "late".

Q: How do I find out about tax intercepts (whether receiving or paying)?

A: First, the parent owing support must file a tax return and have a refund due. Then:

You will usually get the support payment from federal joint returns about six months after the Trust Fund gets the payment.

You will usually receive the support payment from all state refunds and federal non-joint refunds about two days after the Trust Fund receives the tax intercept.

If the paying parent requests a hearing about the tax intercept, the money cannot be sent to you until after the hearing.

If you receive a support payment from a tax refund, the fee is 10% of each collection of $10 or more not to exceed $25.

If you no longer owe the debt after you have been notified of the intercept, but before the intercept has been receipted, the monies will be refunded to you immediately.

If you are married, you may file an injured spouse claim to receive a portion of your refund.  Click here http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8379.pdf to download the Injured Spouse form.

Q: How do I find out where and how to pay my child support?

A: However, you choose to pay, all support must be paid through the Wisconsin Support Collections Trust Fund. This is not only a state law, but this is the only way you can be sure that you get credit for your payments.

Income withholding  http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/bcs/pay/pay_iw.htm

Mailing coupons         http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/bcs/pay/pay_by_coupons.htm

Pay by phone           http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/bcs/pay/pay_by_phone.htm

Pay online                 http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/bcs/pay/pay_online.htm

Q: The other parent is not paying child support as ordered. Can I deny their visitation with the children?

A: No.  Wisconsin family law draws a very definite line between the issues of physical placement and child support.   If you are being denied visitation rights, contact the Family Court Commissioner's Office.   It is important to remember that the Wisconsin Child Support program and its representatives have NO authority to create, change or enforce custody and physical placement provisions.  Even though we can sympathize with your situation we cannot give you legal advice.  No parent can deny court ordered visitations because the other parent is not making court ordered support payments.

Q: “If a parent/party to a case cannot find or remember a child’s social security number, can the Child Support Agency provide this information if the parent calls?

A:  No.  Child support is not allowed to release any Personal Identifiable Information (PII) on any party in the case.  No addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, social security numbers.   This information is considered Confidential Information.  Confidential information is:  Any information relating to an individual or information that may be used to identify an individual, including but not limited to the individual’s social security number or date of birth.   


Q: Is there interest charged on custodial arrears at SMTCSA? 

A:  NO.  However, if your case was transferred from a County agency, interest on custodial arrears may have accrued while your case was managed at that County agency.  When SMTCSA took jurisdiction of the case, the interest amounts owed transferred over, however, SMTCSA stopped the charging of interest on custodial arrears.  The custodial interest arrears that accrued during the time your case was managed by the County agency are still owed.

Note:  Kinship, Foster Care and W2 cases managed by SMTCSA do charge interest at a rate of 6% per year and all balances owed are to the State of Wisconsin. 

Q: If I am incarcerated, are there any barriers to having my child support order changed?

A: Generally, no.  The Bureau of Child Support has issued a policy that incarceration of at least 12 months is considered a "substantial change of circumstances" which allows the local child support agency to bring a motion for modification before the Circuit Court (unless the incarceration resulted from a crime against any child, a crime against a case participant, or is for failure to pay child support.)  A written request needs to be made to your local child support agency.  


Q: Employer is deducting the child support from my checks, but they aren't sending in the money. What should I do?

A: You are ultimately responsible for making child support payments.   If you notice that the payments are being deducted by your employer, but they are not being credited to your account, you need to keep copies of your pay stubs to prove the deductions were made by your employer.   Your Case Manager may then take action against the employer for failure to send in the payments.

Q: The other parent doesn't spend the child support money on our kids. What can be done about this?

A: The money the other parent spends on housing, utilities, and food is money that is shared with your children. If you believe your children are not being adequately fed, clothed, or housed, you should contact the social/human services agency where your children live. Neither the state nor the federal government has jurisdiction (control) over how a parent spends child support payments.

Q: I'm having difficulty obtaining employment due to my past criminal record. How do you expect me to meet my child support obligation when I don’t have a job?

A: The child support agency realizes that barriers, such as a criminal history, present difficulties in obtaining employment for child support payers.   Resources such as local employment agencies and a state employment agency may be able to assist you in how to address these types of concerns with potential employers. 

Q:  I know I am the father; how do I go about establishing Paternity?

A: Paternity may be established through the Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement Form.  SMTCSA has VPA forms at the agency that parties can fill out. Parties must send the applicable costs associated with sending this form along with the VPA form to the State Vital Records Office.  By signing the VPA, the father’s name will be added to the birth certificate, however, the VPA form does not give the father any legal rights (decision making rights) or placement/visitation rights (where child lives).  If the father and/or parties want legal rights, visitation/placement rights, they must file their own motion with the Clerk of Courts and obtain those rights.  Per WI, if paternity was established by VPA, the mother retains full/sole legal and physical primary placement until a court order otherwise.   Also, if paternity was established by VPA, the father listed is financially responsible for the child/ren and child support can be established.