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When Can a Wisconsin Child Support Order Be Modified?

Posted on in Family Law

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. 

Some additional factors that will be considered in determining child support include the time a child spends with each parent and whether a parent is supporting other children (serial payor).

Adjusting a Child Support Order

In the years following divorce or the issuance of a child support order, either parent may experience changes in their lives that would affect their ability to pay child support, or children may experience changes that affect their ongoing needs. In some cases, a child support order may need to be modified to address these changing circumstances. 

A parent may request a review of child support through the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. The child support agency will gather information and review the circumstances of the case to determine whether there has been a change in circumstances that would require a child support modification. A parent may also file a petition with the court requesting an adjustment to child support.

Contact a Milwaukee Child Support Lawyer

If you have recently experienced a life-altering situation, and you need to adjust your child support obligations to ensure that you can meet your and your children’s needs, contact a Milwaukee family law attorney at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP. We will help you determine the best way to pursue a child support modification while working to protect your children’s best interests. Call our office at 414-271-1440.

Sources:

http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/dcf/101_199/150

https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/programs/css/wi_cs_order.pdf

https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/cs/review/modify-order

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