Whitwam v. Whitwam

In Whitwam v. Whitwam, 87 Wis. 2d 22, 273 N.W.2d 366 (Ct. App. 1978), at issue was whether it was proper for a final divorce judgment to impose an arrearage stemming from the shortfall between public assistance received by the custodial parent during the divorce, and the $ 20 per week in temporary child support which the noncustodial parent was ordered to pay during the pendency. The Court recognized that the provision in the divorce judgment "amounts to a judgment requiring retroactive support" over and above the amount set forth in the temporary order. See Whitwam, 87 Wis. 2d at 30. The Court concluded that the trial court had erred by including an order to pay the arrearage in the final judgment because "a family trial court in Wisconsin has no authority to make an order directing the retroactive increase of support payments." See id.