A Helping Hand over Heavy Hand: Child Support Enforcement in the Era of COVID-19

Lisa Klein Vogel, Alejandra Ros Pilarz, Laura Cuesta & Genevieve Caffrey
August 2022

The COVID-10 pandemic made enforcing child support orders, already difficult, even harder. This article explores the decisions made about how and when to enforce an order during the pandemic and the factors that influenced those decisions. The authors interviewed child support agency leadership, frontline workers, attorneys, and judges or family court administrators from five Wisconsin counties. The article presents their perceptions of how the pandemic affected parent’s ability to work and make payments, the changes in administrative and judicial enforcement practices because of the pandemic and why the changes happened, and the most effective enforcement practices used during the pandemic and expectations for future changes in enforcement practices.