Parents in Wisconsin and throughout the country may need to take steps to collect child support that they are owed. In some cases, this means asking a judge to compel the other parent to pay a past-due balance. Parents will generally pursue back support in a state court, but it may be possible to do so in a federal court in certain instances.
Those who are seeking back support should be able to show that they have taken steps on their own to collect the balance owed. In the event that a child's father owes support, for example, the mother may need to show evidence that paternity was established and the father knew about it.
If a case is being tried in federal court, it will need to be shown that the parent ordered to make payments has not done so in at least a year. Furthermore, the balance owed needs to be at least $5,000, and it must be shown that the parent ordered to pay has willingly failed to do so. In a federal case, the parent who owes a back support balance and the child must live in different states. A federal judge will need to determine whether a parent has made attempts to avoid making support payments by hiding or regularly moving.
Parents who fail to pay child support could face a variety of penalties for failure to do so. In some cases, they might face jail time in addition to financial penalties. If a custodial parent has not received a full child support payment, it may be a good idea to hire an attorney. Doing so may make it easier to compel the noncustodial parent to make payments in a timely manner, which is in a child's best interest.