Modification Of Child Support
To obtain a modification of child support, a parent must show that there has been a “substantial change of circumstances” since the previous child support order. Wis. Stat. Sec. 767.59. For example, a change in income, or a substantial change in the amount of physical placement a parent has, could constitute a substantial change of circumstances.
Courts often determine that a parent’s loss of a job warrants a modification of child support, provided the parent was not at fault for the job loss. For example, when the General Motors plant in Janesville closed its doors, many people who were paying child support were able to obtain a reduction in child support while they looked for other employment. However, a person may not take a voluntary income reduction and expect a modification in child support, unless the reason for the voluntary income reduction is found to be reasonable by the court. The court could determine that being fired from a job for cause constitutes an unreasonable choice to reduce income.