End Court-Ordered Child Support in Wisconsin

Understand how to end court-ordered child support and what steps must be taken.

Wisconsin Child Support Basics

Unless specifically stated in your child support agreement, child support should be paid until the child becomes an adult. In the state of Wisconsin, that would be when the child turns 18. You can't end child support payments simply because you don't feel like the child support agreement is fair.

If you truly believe that the support agreement is unfair,[1] you would first need to request to modify the payments with the court. Successfully doing so will not eliminate the payments, it will only adjust the payments according to the new circumstances.

Child Emancipation

If a child files to be emancipated from the one or both of the parents, the court may allow the payor to cease paying child support.

Terminate Parental Rights

If the court or other circumstances terminate a parent's parental rights, then the obligation to pay child support would also terminate.

Third Party Child Adoption

During an adoption, parents who previously had the responsibility of caring for a child no longer bare the responsibility, which means the obligation of paying child support also ceases.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I close my child support case in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, emancipation notes are sent to both parents 90 days before child support is scheduled to conclude. If you do not receive this notice, then you can contact the Department of Children and Families. If you still have arrears when child support is scheduled to end, those arrears will still need to be paid.

Can you drop child support in Wisconsin?

If you are the person receiving child support, you have the option to drop it. Child support differs from spousal support in that you can drop it and request it again later if the situation changes.

How do I terminate child support arrears?

If you are the one who owes the arrears, then the other party is the one who makes the decision whether to forgive them or not. It is up to the person who is owed the money to forgive it or not. However, if the arrears have interest on them, that interest is owed to the state. For interest on arrears, the state decides whether to forgive the money or not.

Do I have to pay child support after age 18?

You may have to pay child support after the child turns 18. You pay child support until the child turns 18 or until they turn 19 if they are still in high school. Also, there are some unique situations where child support is paid beyond that. But if you are in one of those situations, it will be outlined in a previous agreement.

Do I still pay child maintenance if my child goes to university?

In most cases, child support ends when the child graduates high school or when they turn 18. So, generally, no, you will not keep paying child support if they go to college. However, some parents set up agreements where the person paying continues to pay through their college years.

Do you still have to pay child support if you give up your rights in Wisconsin?

If parental rights are terminated in Wisconsin, then the person who no longer had rights also no longer had to pay child support. Termination of parental rights does not happen often because it can only happen if it is in the best interest of the child.

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