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Child Support and Maintenance Issues Due to Loss/Reduction of Income- Covid-19

The Coronavirus crisis has resulted in millions of people losing a large portion, if not all, of their income. This negatively effects everyone in the family. If a person is required to pay child support or maintenance but can no longer do so because of loss of income, he/she needs to take action immediately by filing a motion with the court for a reduction in the support obligation.

In Wisconsin, the law provides the court cannot retroactively change child support or maintenance past the date the motion for reduction is filed and served on the other party. So, for example, the payor is laid off on April 1st. The payor is hopeful about going back to work soon and does not want to spend the money to file a motion. Now it is July 1st and still no job. So, the payor finally files a motion and has it served. Once the court hears the motion, which may be weeks to months later, the most the court can do is make a retroactive reduction in the support order back to the date the motion was filed and served. The payor will still be fully responsible for the full support obligation before July 1st even if no money was coming in.

Doing nothing will cost you more money. It is better to file a motion right away. If things turn out well, you can always dismiss your motion. But you cannot get backward relief.

If you have any questions or concerns, call or email us at the Hart Law Office. PH: 414-271-1775. Email: Eric at [email protected] or Richard at [email protected].

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