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Milwaukee, WI 53202
Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP

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Wisconsin child support lawyerMilwaukee child support modification attorneysBy Attorney Max Stephenson and Courtney Hess

When you get a divorce with children under the age of 18, you and your spouse must address a wide variety of issues related to your children, including determining the amount of child support that each of you will be obligated to pay to provide for your children’s needs. Although a child support order will typically remain in effect until the child reaches the age of 18 (or 19 if the child is pursuing an accredited course of education leading to the acquisition of a high school diploma or its equivalent), you may be able to adjust your child support obligations under certain circumstances.

The Child Support Percentage of Income Standard

According to Wisconsin Administrative Code DCF 150.03, child support is determined by calculating a certain percentage of the payor’s income. The court will first determine the parent’s monthly income available for child support, which may be based on their actual annual gross income, imputed income based on earning capacity, or income imputed based on the assets they own. The percentage of this income that will go toward child support will be based on the number of children. For example, an obligor parent with two children will be required to pay 25% of his or her income in child support, whereas an obligor with three children must pay 29%. Parents may also be required to pay for additional child-related “variable” expenses, including health insurance, educational costs, and extracurricular activities. 

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By Attorney Max Stephenson

Milwaukee nurse license defense attorneyParents are required to financially support their children. When children live primarily with one parent, that parent is usually presumed to be supporting them, and the other parent will usually be required to pay child support. In 2017, The United States Census Bureau reported that around 20 million minor children in the United States live with one parent, making up 27.1 percent of all living arrangements for children. Determining the correct amount of support in these cases is essential, not only to ensure that children’s needs are met, but to ensure that the parents can maintain financial stability. No matter what side of a child support order you are on, the attorneys at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP can help you reach an outcome that meets your needs.

Setting Support Amounts

In Wisconsin, child support obligations are typically determined using pre-set percentages based on the number of children being supported. According to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, the percentage of a parent’s income that will go toward child support are as follows:

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Milwaukee child custody attorney for LGBTQ parents

By Attorney Max Stephenson

LGBTQ parents can face some complex issues in child custody cases in Wisconsin. In many cases, these types of situations involve one of two types of disputes. First, as the rights of the LGBTQ community receive more public support, it is increasingly common for an LGBTQ spouse who was in a different-sex marriage to get divorced after acknowledging that he or she is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. In such cases, where children are involved, the other parent may attempt—whether subtly or outright—to convince the court to consider the sexual orientation or gender identity of the LGBTQ parent negatively when it comes to deciding custody and/or visitation rights. Following a more recent trend, the legal parent may also try to object based on religious beliefs.

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Milwaukee, WI family law attorney for same-sex parentsBy Attorney Max Stephenson

Same-sex marriage became legal in Wisconsin in October 2014. Same-sex marriage became legal nationwide in June 2015 with the U.S. Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges. However, it may come as a surprise to LGBTQ families that same-sex parents are advised to get a court order confirming both parents’ parental rights.

A number of U.S. Supreme Court judgments have provided rights to LGBTQ parents nationwide. For example, Pavan v. Smith gave both parents the right to have their names (either as “mother/father” or “parent/parent”) on the birth certificate of their child, whether the child was adopted or conceived through artificial insemination or by one of the parents.  In the U.S. Supreme Court, cases including Obergefell and Pavan have mandated that all states must extend the same rights and benefits to same-sex married couples that are extended to opposite-sex married couples, including recognizing a non-gestational parent as a legal parent.

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Milwaukee gun crime defense attorney

By Attorney Max Stephenson

Issues related to child custody are often the most difficult part of a divorce. Parents must learn to balance not wanting to live under a different roof than their children and wanting the best for their kids. Determining the best way to address these issues can be challenging for a judge to determine. They must look at every facet of the child’s life and factor in each parent’s ability to meet a child’s needs. In most situations, parents will have shared or joint custody of their children. In these cases, parents will share in the right to make decisions about how to raise their children, and the children will typically spend significant amounts of time with each parent.

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