Garnishing the Self Employed for Child Support in Wisconsin | Sterling Law Offices, S.C. Garnishing the Self Employed for Child Support in Wisconsin | Sterling Law Offices, S.C. global $post;
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 – from Jennifer J. in Greendale, WI

Question Details:

I am the mother of two children, ages 2 and 4. My ex-husband has not paid child support since our divorce. We both live in Wisconsin. He was ordered to pay $240 a month for both children based on his income. It has been about a year, so he owes roughly $2,800 in back support. I have contacted the Child Support Division, but I really haven’t gotten anywhere. I spoke with someone who said he could get a summons to court for failure to pay, and he could go to jail. I don’t want him to go to jail, just to be made to pay the support he owes. He is currently self employed, but he says he does not make enough to pay. Is there a way to garnish his wages?

Family Law Attorney Response:

This can sometimes be a difficult matter.

The first thing your attorney would need to know is whether you both filed financial disclosures under Wis. Stat._767.127 during the divorce proceedings in regards to the amount of child support ordered. This would also indicate the actual income being accounted for.

You see, being self employed means there is no one to send the wage garnishment order to other than your ex husband, and he is the one not paying. There are, however, ways around this. Your lawyer may be able to obtain a bank attachment in order to collect the support directly from his account.

Thinking outside the box is an approach that you and your lawyer should take, especially if you feel that he could be untruthful about his actual income. For one thing, you and your divorce lawyer may be able to obtain your husbands phone records or client list through court orders, and subpoena them in order to find out how much they are paying him for his services, and by what method they are paying.

This may lead to a fast settlement. Just because he is self employed, it doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to make him pay. If you haven’t already, I would definitely advise you to seek legal help in the matter right away.

Read more topics like this on our family law blog.


Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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