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How Is Child Support Calculated in Wisconsin?

 Posted on March 21, 2020 in Family Law

Oconomowoc child support attorney

Traditionally, child support payments were a product of divorce proceedings. If a husband and wife got divorced, the wife was typically granted sole custody of the children, while the husband had designated visitation rights. The husband would also pay a certain amount to the wife each month to help with the cost of raising the children. In today’s world, the situations in which child support is awarded have vastly changed, although the general purpose still remains the same. Child support is intended to be used for expenses relating to the child, such as clothing, food, and other essential items. Most courts across the country have agreed that both the mother and the father have the responsibility of financially providing for their children, regardless of where the child lives. Child support calculations can become confusing, but an experienced family law attorney can help explain the legal process.

Shared or Sole Custody?

The first factor you will want to consider during your calculations is whether you will share custody of your children or whether custody was awarded to just one parent. If one parent has full custody, then the non-custodial parent will pay child support to the custodial parent. The amount of child support is determined by a percentage of the payor's income as set forth by Wisconsin law. For example, if a couple has three children together, and the children all live with one parent, then the other parent is required to pay child support equal to 29 percent of his or her gross monthly income.

Sole custody child support calculations are used if one parent has less than 25 percent of parenting time. If both parents have at least 25 percent of parenting time, then calculations must be made using the shared placement guidelines.

Shared Placement Formula

In the majority of cases, child support is determined under the shared placement guidelines. In this formula, each parent's child support obligation is calculated based on the percentage of their income as defined by Wisconsin law. Each parent's obligation is multiplied by 1.5, and the result is multiplied by the percentage of time the children spend with the other parent. The lower amount is subtracted from the higher amount, and the result is the amount of child support paid by the parent with the higher amount.

Example of a Child Support Payment Amount

Matt and Lauren are getting a divorce, and they have four children together. Matt’s gross monthly income is $4,400, and Lauren’s gross monthly income is $3,000. Lauren gets the children 65 percent of the time, while Matt has the children 35 percent of the time. The percentage standard for four children is 31 percent of the parents’ gross monthly incomes. Using the formula described above, Matt will end up paying Lauren $841.65 each month for support for the four children.

Contact a Menomonee Falls Family Law Attorney 

If you are concerned about how child support calculations will be made in your Wisconsin divorce, you should speak with a skilled Brookfield child support lawyer today. At Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, we understand how crucial child support payments can be in ensuring your child has what he or she needs to thrive. Call our office today at 262-232-6699 to schedule a free consultation.




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