Job Loss & Child Support

What You Need to Know

  1. By law, you must tell your child support agency within 10 days if you lose your job, if your income changes, if you get a new job, or if you change jobs. This will not change your court ordered payment amounts.
  2. Your court order for support continues after a job loss. (Only a court can change an order.) 
  3. If your job loss is expected to last longer than 6 to 8 weeks, you can ask to have your court order reviewed for a change. This is not automatic. (See “Review of Child Support Order” below.) 
  4. If child support payments were taken out of your paycheck, child support payments will now be withheld from your Unemployment Insurance checks. (See “Unemployment Benefits” below)

Unemployment Benefits

Your next child support payment may be due before you get your first Unemployment check. It is then your responsibility to make that support payment. A coupon may be used for making a payment. To Print a Payment Coupon click here.

It is also possible you will owe more support than what is withheld from your Unemployment checks. You can use the coupon in this handout to pay the difference.

State policy allows up to 50% of your unemployment checks to be withheld for support. If deductions related to unemployment (overpayments or penalties) reduce your unemployment benefits, 50 % of what remains can be withheld. For example: your unemployment is $300 per week, but $50 is deduction for an overpayment. The balance of your unemployment benefit is $250 ($300 - $50). Up to $125 (half of the balance) can be withheld for support. If you owe $150 each week for support, you are still responsible to pay the remaining $25.

Review of Child Support Order

When your job loss is for an extended period of time, you can ask to have your court order reviewed for a change. (Only a court can change a support order.) You can ask for a review by:

  1. Asking the court for a review using a “do it yourself” (pro se) approach. Links to court forms for asking the court for a review. Forms are available here. You will use the Pro Se Checklist, Wisconsin Courts Pro Se Forms, Income and Expense Statement, and Petition for Waiver of Filing fees if appropriate.
  2. Hiring an attorney to ask the court for a review.
  3. If parties are in agreement, a Pro Se Form for Stipulated Child Support can be used. 
  4. Ask the Child Support Agency to perform a review of your order.