In the state of Wisconsin, child support and visitation are two totally separate issues—but what happens if your ex won’t let you see your kids? Do you still have to pay child support?
Can You Withhold Child Support if Your Ex Won’t Let You See Your Kids?
Because Wisconsin law separates child support and visitation, you can’t simply withhold child support if your ex keeps your kids from you. Failure to pay your child support could land you in serious hot water with the courts; you could even spend time in jail… and the court could convict you of a felony.
The law says, “Any person who intentionally fails for 120 or more consecutive days to provide spousal, grandchild, or child support which the person knows or reasonably should know the person is legally obligated to provide is guilty of a Class I felony. A prosecutor may charge a person with multiple counts for a violation under this subsection if each count covers a period of at least 120 consecutive days and there is no overlap between periods.”
That part of the law refers to a period of about four months, but what if you fail to pay child support for a shorter amount of time?
You can still be charged with a crime.
The law says, “Any person who intentionally fails for less than 120 consecutive days to provide spousal, grandchild or child support with the person knows or reasonably should know the person is legally obligated to provide is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.”
If you can’t afford to provide support, that’s another story—but you can’t just show up and claim that you couldn’t afford it after not paying it. You’ll have to petition the court to change your support obligation if you want to avoid flirting with jail time.
When your ex doesn’t let you see your children, you have the right to ask the court to intervene. For many people, that means getting in touch with a Wisconsin child custody attorney who can help.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Your Ex Keeping Your Kids From You?
If your ex isn’t letting you see your kids and you need to talk to a custody attorney in Milwaukee, call us at 414-383-6700. We may be able to help you.