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Support Of A Child Or Children In Wisconsin

Child support is addressed in any paternity action or divorce where there are minor children. The Department of Children and Families establishes guidelines which are commonly used in setting child support. Child support guidelines take into account the income of both parents, the number of children and the child custody/child placement schedule.

At Hoff, Claringbole & Quigley, LLP, our attorneys are here to help our clients understand the child support guidelines and their application to your situation. If you have a child support issue and need some assistance, please call us today!

How Is Child Support Calculated?

The Department of Children & Families has established percentages of income that are available for support of minor children.

The Courts will order how child support is to be paid based on how placement (often called physical custody) is shared.

Child support takes into account income, but may also be based on earning capacity, which might take into account income from past years. The Courts have discretion in setting and adjusting support based on seasonable work, cyclical jobs, overtime, bonuses and other income variables.

What Are Wisconsin’s Child Support Percentages?

While exceptions may apply, the state guidelines generally allocate a percentage of the parents’ income toward support of the child according to these guidelines:

  • 17% for one child
  • 25% for two children
  • 29% for three children
  • 31% for four children

Which Parent Claims The Children As Dependents For Tax Purposes?

This is determined on a case by case basis. As part of any child support order, an attorney will make sure the issues of the tax exemptions and the head of household tax filing status are addressed, if necessary and appropriate.

Which Parent Pays For Health Insurance?

Also as part of a child support action, responsibility for health insurance for the child (or children) is addressed, and may affect the amount of support that is paid. Parents are generally required to equally share reasonable and necessary uninsured expenses for their children regardless of how much child support is ordered and regardless of the placement schedule.

Which Parent Pays For Other Expenses?

Responsibility for paying children’s variable expenses, which are above and beyond basic support costs, is assigned with child support. Generally, the percentage of variable expenses paid by each parent is based on the percentage of time they physically have with their child (children).

Modification Of Child Support Orders

A child support modification is a change to the Court’s prior order. Child support orders and modifications should be reviewed when a parent’s income changes, when a child’s placement changes, and when a child is emancipated. Wisconsin law defines the passage of 33 months as a substantial change in circumstance allowing parents to have support reviewed every 33 months if they chose.

Child Support Agencies

For a quick list of child support agencies, please call our office in Appleton at 920-416-6026 or send us an email for a list that includes the counties where our attorneys most frequently appear court on behalf of our clients.