If the parties agree on a change, they may submit a written agreement
referred to as a Stipulation and Order. Forms are available at the following
link (State Form FA-604).
Please note that if state aid has been provided to either party or their
children, or if the Child Support Enforcement Agency has been involved in
collection activities, then the Child Support Enforcement Agency must
approve the request before the Court will consider it.
If the parties cannot agree on a change, then a motion must be filed.
This form is available at the following link (State
MODIFICATION OF CHILD SUPPORT OR MAINTENANCE
The requirement for most requests to modify child support or maintenance
is a showing of a substantial change in circumstances. §767.59 of the
Wisconsin Statutes provides that any of the following may constitute a
substantial change in circumstances to revise a judgment or order with
respect to child support: 1. A change in the payer’s income. 2. A change in
the needs of the child. 3. A change in the payer’s earning capacity. 4. Any
other factor that the Court deems is relevant. The factors relating to the
original award of maintenance are relevant to a request for modification of
maintenance. Those factors are found at §767.56 of the Wisconsin Statutes.
MODIFICATION OF CUSTODY OR PHYSICAL PLACEMENT
There are two different standards of proof required to modify a custody
or physical placement order. See §767.451 of the Wisconsin Statutes.
Generally, it is more difficult to modify an order within the first two
years after the initial order. After two years, it is less difficult to
modify an order of custody or physical placement.
Within two years, it must be shown that the current legal custody or
physical placement arrangement is physically or emotionally harmful to the
child, and that modification of legal custody or physical placement or both
After two years, it must be shown that that modification of legal custody
or physical placement is in the best interest of the child, and that there
is a substantial change in circumstances since the date of the last order.
Even after two years, it is presumed that the current legal custody and
physical placement arrangement is in the best interest of the child.
If parties have substantially equal periods of physical placement, the
Court at any time may modify the arrangement upon motion of a party if the
Court finds that circumstances make it impractical for the parties to
continue to have substantially equal placement and that the modification is
in the best interests of the child.
Pursuant to §767.481 of the Wisconsin Statutes, any parent with legal
custody and physical placement rights shall provide the other parent and the
Court with 60 days written notice of his or her intent to: 1. Establish
legal residence outside the State of Wisconsin. 2. Establish his or her
residence within the State at a distance of 150 miles or more from the other
parent. 3. Remove the child from the State for a period of more than 90
The notice must be sent by certified mail. The notice must specify the
parent’s proposed action, including the specific date and location of the
move, or the specific beginning and ending dates and the location of the
removal. The notice must also include the right of the non-moving parent to
object to the move or removal within 15 days of receiving the notice.
Within 15 days after receipt of the notice, the other parent may object,
in writing, to the proposed move or removal. The objection must be sent by
certified mail to the other parent and a copy must be filed with the Court.
If one parent files a notice of objection to a move or removal of the
child, the parent proposing the move is prohibited from moving the child
until an order is entered by the Court on the issue of the proposed move.
There is also a notice requirement for removing a child for 14 days or
more from the child’s primary residence.
A party that believes that their rights are being interfered with may
file an Order To Show Cause. This form is available at the following link (State
Form FA-4172). A judge may impose a jail sentence as the result of
a finding of contempt.