Wisconsin Child Support Laws

Wisconsin Child Support Laws

Experienced family law firm assists couples with all aspects of divorce

When a couple divorces, both parents are responsible for financially supporting the child. The state of Wisconsin uses established guidelines to set child support payments, with the Wisconsin courts considering several different factors in making this determination. The experienced family lawyers at Bandle & Zaeske, LLP assist couples with child support, spousal maintenance, and other aspects of divorce.

Wisconsin’s Percentage of Income Standard

The Percentage of Income Standard refers to the established guidelines that Wisconsin courts use for determining child support. The Percentage of Income Standard takes into consideration several factors when determining support, including:

  • Income of each parent
  • The time that each parent spends with the child or children
  • Whether the parent is supporting other children

The Wisconsin courts can order one parent or both parents to pay child support that is considered reasonable or necessary.

Child custody and child support

For the most part, it is considered that the parent with primary custody of the child or children is already paying for the care and support of the child. So, in most cases, the parent that has less than 50% physical custody is often the parent making the child support payment.

Parent income and child support

Child support payments in Wisconsin are based on the income of the parent that is paying the support. If a parent is not working, they are still required to provide support. The Wisconsin courts may assign an income for the non-working parent based on other factors if it deems that this action is fair and reasonable. For purposes of calculating child support payments, the term “income” is not limited to a salary — it refers to a wide range of sources including, but not limited to, the following:

  • retirement accounts
  • tips
  • investments
  • real estate
  • interest
  • workers’ compensation benefits
  • unemployment insurance
  • Social Security disability payments
  • veteran’s benefits

In situations where a parent is purposefully unemployed or underemployed in an effort to avert child support payments, the Wisconsin courts may consider this parent’s previous earnings, education, physical and mental condition, prior child care responsibilities, and local job opportunities to determine an income level that this parent should be earning in order to support the child.

Skilled family law attorneys with in-depth knowledge of Wisconsin divorce laws

The experienced family law attorneys at Bandle & Zaeske, LLP have in-depth knowledge of Wisconsin divorce laws. With more than 50 years of combined legal experience, our team has been recognized by numerous legal organizations and publications. Attorney Eric Zaeske was named a top divorce and family law attorney by Wisconsin’s M Magazine for four consecutive years. Attorney Christie Bandle received the prestigious Rising Star designation by Super Lawyers, an honor awarded to less than 2.5% of Wisconsin lawyers each year, as well as named top divorce lawyer by MKE Lifestyle magazine. Have questions regarding Wisconsin child support, spousal maintenance, or another family law matter? We are here to answer your questions and explain the legal process. Arrange a confidential consultation with a member of our team online or by contacting our office directly at 414-359-1424. Our office is easily accessible and conveniently located at the corner of the 4 counties. We help clients in Milwaukee, Washington, Ozaukee and Waukesha counties.  We also practice in Dodge, Racine, Fond du Lac and Sheboygan counties.

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