2010 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 948. Crimes against children.
948.22 Failure to support.
948.22948.22 Failure to support.
948.22(1)(1) In this section:
948.22(1)(a)(a) "Child support" means an amount which a person is ordered to provide for support of a child by a court of competent jurisdiction in this state or in another state, territory or possession of the United States, or, if not ordered, an amount that a person is legally obligated to provide under s. 49.90.
948.22(1)(b)(b) "Grandchild support" means an amount which a person is legally obligated to provide under s. 49.90 (1) (a) 2. and (11).
948.22(1)(c)(c) "Spousal support" means an amount which a person is ordered to provide for support of a spouse or former spouse by a court of competent jurisdiction in this state or in another state, territory or possession of the United States, or, if not ordered, an amount that a person is legally obligated to provide under s. 49.90.
948.22(2)(2) 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.
948.22(3)(3) Any person who intentionally fails for less than 120 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 A misdemeanor.
948.22(4)(4) Under this section, the following is prima facie evidence of intentional failure to provide child, grandchild or spousal support:
948.22(4)(a)(a) For a person subject to a court order requiring child, grandchild or spousal support payments, when the person knows or reasonably should have known that he or she is required to pay support under an order, failure to pay the child, grandchild or spousal support payment required under the order.
948.22(4)(b)(b) For a person not subject to a court order requiring child, grandchild or spousal support payments, when the person knows or reasonably should have known that he or she has a dependent, failure to provide support equal to at least the amount established by rule by the department of children and families under s. 49.22 (9) or causing a spouse, grandchild or child to become a dependent person, or continue to be a dependent person, as defined in s. 49.01 (2).
948.22(5)(5) Under this section, it is not a defense that child, grandchild or spousal support is provided wholly or partially by any other person or entity.
948.22(6)(6) Under this section, affirmative defenses include but are not limited to inability to provide child, grandchild or spousal support. A person may not demonstrate inability to provide child, grandchild or spousal support if the person is employable but, without reasonable excuse, either fails to diligently seek employment, terminates employment or reduces his or her earnings or assets. A person who raises an affirmative defense has the burden of proving the defense by a preponderance of the evidence.
948.22(7)(a)(a) Before trial, upon petition by the complainant and notice to the defendant, the court may enter a temporary order requiring payment of child, grandchild or spousal support.
948.22(7)(b)(b) In addition to or instead of imposing a penalty authorized for a Class I felony or a Class A misdemeanor, whichever is appropriate, the court shall:
948.22(7)(b)1.1. If a court order requiring the defendant to pay child, grandchild or spousal support exists, order the defendant to pay the amount required including any amount necessary to meet a past legal obligation for support.
948.22(7)(b)2.2. If no court order described under subd. 1. exists, enter such an order. For orders for child or spousal support, the court shall determine the amount of support in the manner required under s. 767.511 or 767.89, regardless of the fact that the action is not one for a determination of paternity or an action specified in s. 767.511 (1).
948.22(7)(bm)(bm) Upon request, the court may modify the amount of child or spousal support payments determined under par. (b) 2. if, after considering the factors listed in s. 767.511 (1m), regardless of the fact that the action is not one for a determination of paternity or an action specified in s. 767.511 (1), the court finds, by the greater weight of the credible evidence, that the use of the percentage standard is unfair to the child or to either of the child's parents.
948.22(7)(c)(c) An order under par. (a) or (b), other than an order for grandchild support, constitutes an income assignment under s. 767.75 and may be enforced under s. 767.77. Any payment ordered under par. (a) or (b), other than a payment for grandchild support, shall be made in the manner provided under s. 767.57.
948.22 - ANNOT.History: 1985 a. 29, 56; 1987 a. 332 s. 33; Stats. 1987 s. 948.22; 1989 a. 31, 212; 1993 a. 274, 481; 1995 a. 289; 1997 a. 35, 191, 252; 1999 a. 9; 2001 a. 109; 2003 a. 321; 2005 a. 443 s. 265; 2007 a. 20.
948.22 - ANNOT.Under s. 940.27 (2) [now 948.22 (2], the state must prove that the defendant had an obligation to provide support and failed to do so for 120 days. The state need not prove that the defendant was required to pay a specific amount. Sub. (6) does not unconstitutionally shift the burden of proof. State v. Duprey, 149 Wis. 2d 655, 439 N.W.2d 837 (Ct. App. 1989).
948.22 - ANNOT.Multiple prosecutions for a continuous failure to pay child support are allowed. State v. Grayson, 172 Wis. 2d 156, 493 N.W.2d 23 (1992).
948.22 - ANNOT.Jurisdiction in a criminal nonsupport action under s. 948.22 does not require that the child to be supported be a resident of Wisconsin during the charged period. State v. Gantt, 201 Wis. 2d 206, 548 N.W.2d 134 (Ct. App. 1996), 95-2469.
948.22 - ANNOT.Evidence of incarceration to prove inability to pay is not excluded under sub. (6), and there was no basis to find the evidence irrelevant. State v. Stutesman, 221 Wis. 2d 178, 585 N.W.2d 181 (Ct. App. 1998), 97-2991.
948.22 - ANNOT.This section does not distinguish between support and arrearages. It criminalizes failure to pay arrearages even after the child for whom support is ordered attains majority. Incarceration for violation of this section is not unconstitutional imprisonment for a debt. State v. Lenz, 230 Wis. 2d 529, 602 N.W.2d 172 (Ct. App. 1999), 99-0860.
948.22 - ANNOT.If nonsupport is charged as a continuing offense, the statute of limitations runs from the last date the defendant intentionally fails to provide support. If charges are brought for each 120 day period that a person does not pay, the statute of limitations bars charging for those 120 periods that are more than 6 years old. The running of the statute of limitations does not prevent inclusion of all unpaid amounts in a later arrearage order. State v. Monarch, 230 Wis. 2d 542, 602 N.W.2d 179 (Ct. App. 1999), 99-1054.
948.22 - ANNOT.A father, who intentionally refused to pay child support could, as a condition of probation, be required to avoid having another child unless he showed that he could support that child and his current children. In light of the defendant's ongoing victimization of his children and record manifesting his disregard for the law, the condition was not overly broad and was reasonably related to the defendant's rehabilitation. State v. Oakley, 2001 WI 103, 245 Wis. 2d 447, 629 N.W.2d 200, 99-3328.
948.22 - ANNOT.Whether a court of competent jurisdiction ordered a defendant to pay child support is not an element of failure to pay child support. A question in that regard need not be submitted to the jury. Because the defendant father did not identify a historical fact inconsistent with an incident of the Maine court's jurisdiction, whether a court of competent jurisdiction ordered him to pay child support was a purely legal question for the court to determine. State v. Smith, 2005 WI 104, 283 Wis. 2d 57, 699 N.W.2d 508, 03-1698.
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