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In Wisconsin, an award of child support is subject to modification if future circumstances warrant revision. Johnson v. Johnson, 78 Wis.2d 137, 143-44, 254 N.W.2d 198 (1977). Wisconsin Stat. § 767.32 governs the analysis employed when deciding a motion to modify child support. Specifically, the statute states that a revision, of a judgment or order with respect to an amount of child or family support may be made only upon a finding of a substantial change of circumstances.
Although child support enforcement is primarily left up to state enforcement, a non-payment of child support may also become a federal criminal offense under certain conditions. Using the commerce clause as its base of authority, Congress enacted the Child Support Recovery Act of 1992 (CSRA), Pub. L. No. 102-521, making a willful failure to pay a past due support obligation, with respect to a child residing in another state, a federal offense. 18 U.S.C. § 228 The intent of the statute was to prevent non-custodial parents from fleeing across state lines to avoid paying their child support obligations and to facilitate recovery of unpaid child support.
Unless and until a person is established legally as the biological father of a child, he has few rights. He cannot enforce a parenting schedule, make legal decisions related to the child’s upbringing. A paternity proceeding may be brought at any time after the birth of a child. Under Wisconsin law, there are several ways that paternity may be legally established.
Wisconsin, like states across the America, has complied with federal requests to adopt uniform guidelines for determining child support. Although the laws in neighboring states may be similar, no two states have identical laws.
Whenever a Wisconsin court enters a judgment for divorce or legal separation, or issues a custody/placement order in some other action affecting the family, it must make a determination about child support.
In order to file for divorce in Wisconsin, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for six months, and in one county for 30 days, before filing for divorce in that county.
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