Post Judgment Procedures
If the parties agree on a change, they may submit a written agreement referred to as a Stipulation and Order. This form is available: State Form FA-604 (DOC). 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: State Form FA-4170 (DOC).
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:
- A change in the payer's income.
- A change in the needs of the child.
- A change in the payer's earning capacity.
- 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
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 is necessary.
After Two Years
After two years, it must be shown 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:
- Establish legal residence outside the State of Wisconsin
- Establish his or her residence within the State at a distance of 150 miles or more from the other parent.
- Remove the child from the State for a period of more than 90 consecutive days
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: State Form FA-4172 (DOC). A judge may impose a jail sentence as the result of a finding of contempt.