Wisconsin Child Support
Wisconsin child support, Wi child support, child support in Wisconsin,
Wisconsin made sweeping
changes in its child support guidelines effective January 1, 2004.
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce
Development said the new rules, which went into effect Jan. 1, are based
on the principle that both parents are responsible for supporting their
children, regardless of whether the parents live together.
The new guidelines provides relief
for the far upper and far lower income brackets. For example, the new
guidelines will have people making about $550 a month pay about 11
percent of their gross income for child support while people making $950
a month would pay the current 17 percent.
Moreover, the amount determined for
child support isn't based on income alone. The guidelines also take
into account is the earning potential of the person. If they are
capable of earning $950 a month, they will have to pay the same as
someone who does earn $950.
Application of Law
The new rules will affect cases
coming before the court or cases being reviewed during the standard
family court review process. The revisions will not immediately affect
previously determined cases. The new rules are optional. The courts
can use the new guidelines or the previous system when determining child
support. Each case will be looked at individually to see if the parent
qualifies for the new guidelines. The guidelines will not be
automatically applied to pre-existing obligations.
The standard guide lines based on
the number of children for most child support payer remains the same and
is based on gross income.
17% for one child;
25% for two children;
29% for three children;
31% for four children;
34% percent for five or more
If a payer is self employed, the
Court may not consider certain business deductions. For example, the
Court may add back in wages that are paid to other dependent household
members or add in revenue that has not been distributed as wages if it
is not necessary for growth of the business. The burden is on the payer
to prove undistributed income is necessary for the business growth.
The Court may also impute income if
it is determined that the payer is earning less than the he/she is
capable of earning based on education or past earning history. At a
minimum, each person is deemed to be able to earn a minimum wage salary
for 35 hours per week.
The Court may also look at a payer's
assets to determine child support including retirement plans, life
insurance policies, stocks and bonds, cash deposits, worker's
compensation, personal injury awards and business ownership.
Social Security for Child
If the child receives social security
disability based on a payer's disability, that amount will be included
in the payer's gross income and deducted as part payment of the child
support obligation that applies.
Trust Accounts for Children
The Court may also protect children
under the new law by requiring a trust find to be created to protect the
child's financial interests. This will generally occur most often for
higher income payers.
Shared Parenting Guidelines
There are also adjustments based on
shared parenting time. This portion of the law has changed
significantly. When both parents have placement for 25% of the time or
92 days per year, the percentage of time each parent has with the child
is calculated by including the number of overnights as the numerator and
365 as the denominator. If each parent has the child over 25% of the
time, child support is determined by taking the gross income of each
parent and multiplying it by the child support guidelines and then
multiplying that resulting figure by 150% and then multiplying that
result by the percentage of time that the parent does not have the child
in their care. The two obligations are then offset.
Example: Father has
one child 30% of the time and has gross income of $4,000 per month.
Mother has the child 70% of the time
and earns $3,000 gross per month.
Fathers Obligation: 4,000 x .17 =
$680 x 1.5 = $1,020 x .7= $714.00
Mother's Obligation 3,000 x .17 = 510
x 1.5 = $765 x .3 =$229.50
Result: Father pays to
mother the difference of the two obligations or $484.50
Variable Costs (Child Care)
The Court may also assign
responsibility for variable costs related to the child such as uninsured
medical expenses or child care based on the proportion of time each
parent has the child while taking into consideration each parent's
income. Such payments are generally made directly to the parent or a
third party care provider rather than through income withholding unless
the monthly amount is easily discernable.
Low Income Guidelines
Low income payers pay on a sliding
Click Here for the low income tables.
High Income Guidelines
High income payers (over $7,000 gross
per month) also pay reduced amounts for their higher levels of income. If a payer's income is between
$7,000 and $12,500, the guideline percentage above would be applied to the $7,000 threshold. However, for income in excess of $7,000 per month but below $12,500 per month the following percentages apply:
One child 14%;
Two children 20%;
Three Children 23%;
Four Children 25%;
Five or more children 27%.
If the payer's income is greater than
$12,500 per month, the following percentages apply to any income in excess of $12,500 per month:
One Child 10%;
Two Children 15%;
Three Children 17%;
Four Children 19%;
Five or more children 20%.
In Western Wisconsin call toll free