CustodyJoint legal custody means both parties will share custody evenly unless otherwise specified. 50/50 placement is the most common joint custody arrangement in Wisconsin. State law presumes joint custody is in the child’s best interest since parents get to make decisions together that affect their child. Major life decisions affecting children include religion, school, marriage or the military.
CustodySole legal custody is harder to obtain in court. It typically only happens when one parent cannot carry out their parental responsibilities or both parents cannot agree on major life decisions (i.e. religion & schooling) involving their children. The party without custody may have to pay child support and could be granted visitation rights. If the separating couple is not married, the mother normally gets full custody until a paternity action is established. Unmarried and divorced fathers have fathers’ rights.
Child Placement &
Child custody mediation keeps custody and placement decisions out of court. Mediation services from Divergent are usually utilized when parents need help reaching a decision on custodial agreements. Many times, mediation is a preferable alternative to legal fees and emotional stress involved in a courtroom battle. If the parents can’t reach an agreement, the court will appoint a Guardian ad Litem who represents the best interest of the child during a pending case.
Post-Judgement Child Custody & Placement Modification in Mequon
Life changes such as a new residence or school may require new placement arrangements. Modifying a placement schedule is possible under certain circumstances. Check out our co-parenting resources to learn how to make any child placement arrangement a positive experience for your children.
How does child support work?
Child support is usually paid by the non-custodial parent and includes basic living costs such as food, clothing, housing, personal, health insurance and transportation. Variable costs can include child care, school tuition, special needs and activities with a substantial cost. Payments are distributed by direct deposit to an EPPIC MasterCard for those without direct deposit.
Child support payments are based on Wisconsin Income Guidelines:
- 1 child: 17% of income
- 2 children: 25% of income
- 3 children: 29% of income
- 4 children: 31% of income
- 5 children: 34% of income
Sources of income are:
- Wages, salaries, earnings, tips, commissions, or bonuses from a job
- Interest or capital gain from investments or properties
- Workers compensation or personal injury awards meant to replace income
- Unemployment insurance
- Social Security Disability Income, excluding Supplemental Security Income or other assistance
- Military allowances or veterans’ benefits
- Other assets such as voluntary retirement contributions, cafeteria plans or undistributed corporation income
Special Support Guidelines exist for parents who have shared placement (child is with a parent for at least 25% of the time), split placement (one parent has one child while the other parent has another), serial family (support more than one family), or high or low incomes.
Adjusting Child Support
Getting child support modification in Wisconsin means legally increasing or decreasing your child support payments, with the option to add or adjust for medical support. You can find forms to adjust your child support payment on the Wisconsin Court System Forms site.
In order to grant a review to your child support payment, 3 questions will be asked:
- Are payments in line with percentage of income guidelines?
- Is medical support included?
- Are there any substantial circumstance changes?