If a judge does not approve our settlement agreement in an uncontested divorce, what happens next?
In Wisconsin, where I practice law, if two parents going through a divorce enter into an agreement related to child support, the majority of the time a judge will accept the agreement so long as both parties confirm at the time of the final divorce hearing that they are in agreement with the child support amount and can state reasons why the child support amount is appropriate.
That said, in Wisconsin, if either parent is receiving a form of public assistance, such as food stamps, state funded healthcare, daycare assistance, etc., then the local child support agency must also approve the child support amount. If a party is receiving public assistance, and the parties have agreed to deviate downward from what the state guidelines are for child support, meaning that the parent who would receive child support is receiving less than he or she would be entitled to under the state guidelines, then often times the child support agency will not approve the agreement unless there is good reason to do so.
In Wisconsin, if a judge, or the child support agency does end up rejecting an agreement, then the parties will most likely receive an explanation as to why it was rejected and will most likely be told what needs to be modified in order for the agreement to be accepted. If there is an existing order in place for child support, in Wisconsin, that order will remain in place until a new order is entered.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on your situation, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.
Mat Camp is a former Lexicon Services Online Editor, who focused on providing a comprehensive look into all aspects of the divorce experience. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more.
Mr. Camp used the wealth of experience of Cordell & Cordell attorneys to bring tangible answers to reader questions in Ask a Lawyer articles, as well as offer a step by step process through the divorce experience with Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner Joseph E. Cordell in Divorce 101: A Guide for Men.
Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. He helped foster the continued success of the Men’s Divorce Survival Guide, the Men’s Divorce Podcast, and the Men’s Divorce YouTube series “Attorney Bites.”