Go to Homepage


3 Examples of How Child Support May Be Calculated in Wisconsin

 Posted on April 02, 2024 in Family Law

Milwaukee, WI child support lawyerFor parents who are involved in family law cases, child support is likely to be a crucial issue that will need to be addressed. Child support ensures that children’s ongoing needs will be met. Payments made by one parent to the other may be used to cover regular expenses, including food and clothing, as well as housing expenses such as rent and utilities. Additional expenses may also be addressed, such as those related to education, activities, medical care, and childcare that will allow a parent to maintain employment.

Understanding the various factors that may affect child support is not always easy, and the assistance of an experienced attorney will often be necessary to ensure that the amount of payments will be calculated correctly. While Wisconsin law provides a fairly simple method of calculating child support based on a percentage of the paying parent’s income, there are many situations where additional calculations may be necessary.

Practical Examples of Child Support Calculations

To better understand how child support may be determined, it can be beneficial to consider hypothetical scenarios:

  • Single child support: If a child will be living primarily with one parent, the other parent’s child support obligations will be calculated based on a percentage of the paying parent’s income. For example, a parent who earns $50,000 annually and has one child would be required to pay 17% of their income, which would be around $708 per month.

  • Shared placement: If one parent earns $60,000 annually and will care for their two children 40% of the time, and the other parent earns $30,000 and will care for children 60% of the time, child support obligations will be calculated for each parent and offset. For two children, child support is based on 25% of a parent’s income. The first parent’s child support obligation would be $1,250 per month (income of $5,000 per month times 25%), and the other parent’s obligation would be $625 ($2,500 per month times 25%). Each parent’s obligation is multiplied by 150% and by the other parent’s percentage of physical placement, so the first parent’s obligation would be $1,125, and the second parent’s obligation would be $375. Offsetting these amounts results in a total of $750, which is the amount that the first parent would pay to the second parent each month.

  • High-income scenario: Different percentages are used in cases where the paying parent earns at least $7,000 per month. For a parent earning $200,000 annually with three children, Wisconsin law states that their child support obligation would be 17% of their income, and they would be required to pay approximately $2,833 per month.

Are Wisconsin Child Support Guidelines Always Followed? 

While family courts will usually follow the guidelines defined in Wisconsin law to calculate child support, there may be some cases where it may be appropriate to deviate from these guidelines and determine an appropriate amount of support based on a family’s unique circumstances. 

When determining whether to deviate from the guidelines, a variety of factors may be considered, including the financial resources available to both parents, each parent’s individual needs, other support obligations for either parent, whether it may be desirable for either party to be a stay-at-home parent rather than pursuing employment outside the home, whether substantial expenses will be required to transport children between the parents’ homes, and the tax consequences that may affect both parents. Ultimately, the best interests of the child will be the most important factor in determining what amount of child support will be necessary.

Contact Our Milwaukee, WI Child Support Lawyers

While there are a variety of complex factors that can affect child support and other child-related issues during a family law case, an experienced lawyer can provide guidance on how to handle these matters correctly. At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, our Milwaukee child support attorneys work with our clients to establish fair and appropriate child support orders and resolve other issues related to child custody. Contact us at 414-271-1440 to set up a free consultation where you can learn more about how we can help with your case.

Share this post:
Back to Top