– from Anthony N. in Shorewood, WI

Question Details:

When my wife and I divorced years ago, she was given custody of our son, and I was ordered to pay child support. I fell on hard times and never gained a meaningful job. I never made much above minimum wage, even when I was working. Our son is now 18, but I'm still pretty much in the hole for the last 7 years of support. I finally have a pretty hefty income tax refund coming that I need to get into a new house. Can the court intercept my refund check due to arrearages?

Family Law Attorney Response:

Absolutely. That is the short answer.

The reasoning of the state is that just because your child is 18, your years of non-payment are not “forgiven.” Your son's age does not exempt your from the support that you owe. This is seen in the case of Howard v. Howard 130 Wis. 2d 206, 387 N.W.2d 96 (Ct. App. 1986). In this instance, the court found that a tax refund check was not subject to certification by the clerk. However, upon appeal the decision was reversed based on the facts stated.

I would advise you to contact an attorney right away in order to discuss the details of your case. The one stated is just one example of how your child support case could play out.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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