Go to Homepage
QR Code



How to Calculate Child Support in Unique Situations

Posted on in Family Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_MeganDrury.jpgBy: Attorney Megan Drury

Parents have a legal obligation to make sure their children’s ongoing needs are being met. When parents are married or cohabitating, they will use the income they earn to provide for their family. However, when parents are divorced or separated, child support is usually required to ensure that both parents are contributing to their children’s needs. In many Wisconsin family law cases, calculations of child support obligations are straightforward, and one parent will pay a certain percentage of their income to the other parent. However, there are some unique situations that may require additional calculations. In a recent blog, we looked at child support in cases involving shared placement of children. Some other situations that can make child support calculations more complicated include:

Split Placement

In some cases, child placement orders may state that one or more children will live primarily with one parent, and one or more other children will live with the other parent. In these cases, child support obligations will need to be determined for both parents, and these obligations will be offset.

To determine the percentages that will be used to calculate child support in these cases, the appropriate percentage for a certain number of children will be divided by that number of children. For example, in cases where a couple has three children, the percentage used to calculate child support is 29 percent. In a split-placement case, this amount is divided by three, meaning that 9.67 percent of a parent’s income will be used to provide support for each child.

As an example of how split-placement child support will be calculated, consider a situation in which Parent A earns $2,000 per month and will have primary placement of two of the couple’s children, and Parent B earns $3,000 per month and will have primary placement of the third child. Parent A’s child support obligation for one child will be 9.67 percent of $2,000, or $193.40. Parent B’s child support obligation for two children will be 19.34 percent of $3,000, or $580.20. Subtracting $193.40 from $580.20 results in $386.80, which is the amount of child support that Parent B will pay to Parent A.

Serial-Family Parents

If a parent has an existing child support obligation, the amount they currently pay for that obligation will be deducted from their income before determining any additional child support obligations. For example, if a parent has two children from a previous marriage, 25 percent of their income will be used to support those children. If they have one child from a later relationship, child support for that child will be determined by taking 17 percent of their remaining income after the first child support obligation was deducted. This process may be repeated for any children from subsequent relationships.

Contact Our Milwaukee Child Support Attorneys

Regardless of your family’s situation, you will want to be sure all factors are considered properly when determining the amount of child support you may pay or receive. The attorneys of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP will take the time to understand the details of your case, and we will work to protect your children’s best interests and make sure they will have the support they need. Contact our Milwaukee, WI divorce lawyers at 414-271-1440 to set up a free consultation today.



Back to Top