wis-law.com is your doorway to information pages on legal subjects including Wisconsin Divorce Law, Wisconsin Real Estate Law, Wisconsin Personal Injury Law, Bankruptcy Law, Social Security Law and Landlord/Tenant Law in Wisconsin, as well as issues regarding motor vehicles, bankruptcy and insurance. wis-law.com is also a central access point to other resources available on the web with respect to Wisconsin Law and Government.
WISCONSIN CHILD SUPPORT
by Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Once the court has made a determination that one party should be awarded primary physical placement of the children, the the court must enter an order as it relates to child support. Child support is money paid directly to the parent with placement, from the parent who does not have placement.
Wisconsin has adopted percentage guidelines, which make the determination of child support in most routine cases, clear cut. Unless the court finds a reason for not applying the percentage guidelines, or unless, the parent who does not have primary physical placement is considered a shared time payor, then the court will order child support as follows:
The percentage order is made based upon the gross income of the person paying the support. This means total pay, not take home. Assume a parent has income of $2,000 per month, and take home of $1,500. The child support for one child would be $340 per month, two children $500, three children $580, etc.
Most child support is taken directly out of an employees paycheck, by what is called wage assignment and is removed on the same interval as an employee gets paid. This money is then forwarded on to the clerk of courts.
There are three typical situations where an order will not be the flat percentage above: the serial family situation, the shared time payor and where the court finds a basis to deviate from the guidelines.
The Serial Family. A serial family payor is one who is paying child support to two different parties, not for two different children. While the first family does not automatically get their child support reduced because of the payment to the second family, the second family does. Usually what is done, is the child support for the second family is figured based upon the income the payor has after payment of the first families child support. For example, if both the first and second families have one child, the first family would receive 17% of all the payor's income, but the second would receive 17% of 83% of the payor's income, about 14%. THIS DOESN'T SOUND FAIR, BUT THE THEORY IS THAT THE FIRST FAMILY SHOULD NOT BE DEPRIVED BECAUSE THE PAYOR CHOSE TO HAVE A SECOND FAMILY.
Shared Time Payor. The shared time payor is someone who has more than 110? overnights per year. In such case, the child support is reduced, in an extremely complex way. These rules are too difficult to explain here and it is best that you have your attorney explain them to you.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REGULATIONS FOR SHARED TIME PAYORS.
Deviation from the guidelines. In order to deviate from the percentage standards, the court must make an express and properly explained finding that such is unfair to either party or the children. The factors the court can consider are:
(1m) Upon request by a party, the court may modify the amount of child support payments determined under sub. (1j) if, after considering the following factors, the court finds by the greater weight of the credible evidence that use of the percentage standard is unfair to the child or to any of the parties: (a) The financial resources of the child. (b) The financial resources of both parents as determined under s. 767.255. (bj) Maintenance received by either party. (bp) The needs of each party in order to support himself or herself at a level equal to or greater than that established under 42 USC 9902 (2). (bz) The needs of any person, other than the child, whom either party is legally obligated to support. (c) The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not ended in annulment, divorce or legal separation. (d) The desirability that the custodian remain in the home as a fulltime parent. (e) The cost of day care if the custodian works outside the home, or the value of custodial services performed by the custodian if the custodian remains in the home. (ej) The award of substantial periods of physical placement to both parents. (em) Extraordinary travel expenses incurred in exercising the right to periods of physical placement under s. 767.24. (f) The physical, mental and emotional health needs of the child, including any costs for health insurance as provided for under sub. (4m). (g) The child's educational needs. (h) The tax consequences to each party. (hm) The best interests of the child. (hs) The earning capacity of each parent, based on each parent's education, training and work experience and the availability of work in or near the parent's community. (i) Any other factors which the court in each case determines are relevant.
While these factors might indicate that deviation occurs more often to increase child support, in practice, it is most often used by the payor to reduce the obligation. One common situation where the strict percentage is not followed is where the payor has a high income (something above $60,000 is used by many judges) and the payment of a strict percentage results in substantially more than the judge feels is appropriate to care for a child.
The materials on this World Wide Web site are provided purely for informational purposes and are not legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed, to be correct, complete, and current. This web site is not intended to be a source of advertising, solicitation or legal advice. Therefore, the reader should not consider this information an invitation for an attorney-client relationship. Readers should not act or rely upon any information contained in this World Wide Web site and should always seek the advice of competent counsel.
The owner of this web site is a law firm, the Johnson Law Office which organized the Brain Injury Law Group. The Johnson Law Office is licensed to practice in the States of Wisconsin , Illinois and Michigan. The Brain Injury Law Group does not wish to represent anyone desiring representation based upon their viewing any portion of this World Wide Web site that fails to comply with all legal and ethical rules in such individuals state. While not intended to do so, but in a good faith effort to comply with all rules and regulation which may be applicable to it, the Brain Injury Law Group hereby informs readers that this site may be construed as advertising and promotional materials. The Brain Injury Law Group makes no representation that it can obtain the same results as reported in this web site in other legal matters.
If you are a client, remember that e-mail may not be secure.
©1999 - 2008 Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
For more on Attorney Gordon Johnson