Lawyers for child support disagreements in Southeastern Wisconsin
Whether you are just gathering information or looking to seek more child support, it's important to realize both parents are responsible for supporting their children financially.
While child support can vary family to family and situation to situation, there is a way for you to estimate approximately how much it may be depending on different placement schedules.
Explore some of the basic rules governing child support in Wisconsin below:
Income-based child support payments
Child support in Wisconsin is determined by the income of the parent who does not have primary placement. For a shared placement schedule, both parents’ income is taken into consideration. “Income” in this circumstance refers to all sources, both taxable and untaxable. An untaxable source like a retirement fund 401(k) is considered income under Wisconsin statutes. Other income sources include wages, bonuses, tips, commissions, and interest made on assets such as a house or other properties.
It's easier to remember what sources are not considered "income". Public assistance like social security and food stamps are considered when assessing child support. Check out our easy-to-use Wisconsin child support calculator for an estimate of your monthly payments.
How do you calculate a child support payment in Wisconsin?
If the paying parent’s gross income is between $1,350 and $7,000 each month, use the following information:
- 1 Child: 17% of income
- 2 Children: 25% of income
- 3 Children: 29% of income
- 4 Children: 31% of income
- 5 or more children: 34% of income
A Conversion Table for specific monthly income with child support rates can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Children and Family website.
There are separate tables and rates for low income and high-income earners. If the paying parent is earning less than $1,350 gross each month, see the Low Income Payer Table. For payers making over $7,000 per month, check out the High Income Payer document.
Of course, there are exceptions to these guidelines since every situation is different. If you have a complex case, schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to discuss your options.
Frequently asked questions about child support in Wisconsin:
If you're still wondering about child support laws in Wisconsin, here are some of the frequently asked questions:
I don’t think my child’s parent is using the child support the way it should be. What can I do?
Child support is intended to go toward your child’s welfare, which includes rent, food, clothes, etc. Some of these things such as rent and food overlap where the other parent may benefit from. If you are concerned your child is being neglected, you could try to contact the Department of Health and Human Services to see what can be done.
Be aware that the state and federal governments do not have jurisdiction or laws governing how these payments are actually spent.
If the other parent is refusing to let me see the child, can I stop paying child support?
Seeing your children does not affect your child support obligation. Your obligation first and foremost is to care for your children, so do not stop paying.
If your court-ordered child placement schedule is being violated, you can file for contempt for failing to adhere to a court order. Contact one of our attorneys today to find out all your options going forward.
What happens if I do not pay my child support?
If you don’t pay court-ordered child support, you will be actively violating a court order and you may be held in contempt of court. This could result in fines, jail, suspension of your driver’s license or recreational licenses, or you could even be referred to the District Attorney for review for a possible criminal case.
Child support is not something to ignore. If there is a change in circumstances and you are unable to pay the required support, file a motion with the court to modify the amount immediately.
My child is now 18. Why do I still have to pay?
Wisconsin law requires the payment obligation to continue until the youngest child turns 18, or in some cases 19 if they are pursuing high school education or a GED. Learn more about child support termination.
Can my child support payments be modified?
Yes, child support modification in Wisconsin is possible. A child support order can only be changed by a court.