– from Lisa Y. in Delafield, WI

Question Details:

My husband and I were divorced about a year ago. I was awarded a cash settlement when our estate was divided, which I received. I was also awarded custody of our daughter. He was ordered to pay child support, but he has only paid about half of the monthly ordered amount. He makes good money. I'm not aware of any reason he could possibly have to not pay the full amount each and every month. I'm thinking about taking him back to court over this. Can he be found to be in contempt for his refusal to pay the full amount? Could he receive time in jail?

Family Law Attorney Response:

I have a question for you, why have you not taken him back to court sooner? If he makes enough money to pay the ordered amount of child support, then he is liable to live up to the support order. You can file a motion, and he will most likely be ordered to show cause.

In the case of Schroeder v. Schroeder 100 Wis. 2d 625, 302 N.W.2d 475 (1981), a similar situation occurred where the ex husband did not live up to his support order. He was found in contempt and sentenced to 60 days in jail. There are other actions that can be taken, however, such as wage garnishment.

My advice would be to seek the legal representation of an experienced family law attorney. They will be able to advise you on the proper course of action, and your available options.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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