The Child Support and Custody Task Force

In the early 1980s, Wisconsin saw a great change in the structure of its child support system and child custody laws. With the advent of a no-fault divorce system, the Wisconsin legislature was focused on fixing the child support and custody laws to make them fairer to both parents and children. The Wisconsin Women’s Network responded to this by creating the Child Support and Custody Task Force to support implementation of and reform of joint custody, child-care, and other such laws. The group was dedicated to ensuring that all children in Wisconsin received the care and finances needed to ensure a proper way of living, especially with regard to the non-custodial parent. In particular, the Task Force supported the Governor’s Child Support Initiative, which put stronger enforcements on paying child support to ensure that all children receive the financial resources they need. Also, the Child Support Assurance System was established in 1987 to ensure that parents gave their children financial resources, instead of relying entirely on welfare programs such as AFDC. The Task Force also focused on the issue of child custody, as Wisconsin changed its laws to order parents in certain cases to have joint custody of a child.