How Child Support is Calculated in Wisconsin

Child support payments can be a hotly contested issue in any divorce case. In Wisconsin, there is a standard formula used to determine the amount of child support that should be paid. Child support is intended to cover the basic expenses of having a child, such as food, clothing, housing, utilities, transportation, personal care, and health insurance.

How Much Child Support Will I Pay?

The amount of child support you will pay is determined by a percentage of your income. Your income is calculated by considering your:

  • Wages, salary, tips, commissions, and bonuses from work
  • Interest and capital gains from investments
  • Workers’ compensation benefits or personal injury awards
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Social Security Disability Income
  • Military allowances or veterans’ benefits
  • Voluntary retirement contributions and undistributed income of a corporation

Your income may also be calculated by your ability to earn, based on past earnings, current health, education, work experience, history as a primary caregiver to the child, and job opportunities in your area.

The standard percentage of income guideline in Wisconsin is:

  • 1 child: 17% of your income
  • 2 children: 25% of your income
  • 3 children: 29% of your income
  • 4 children: 31% of your income
  • 5 or more children: 34% of your income

The judge handling your case may determine a different child support amount at their own discretion. Typically, judges will only deviate if it is fairer to the child or one of the parents. There are also special support guidelines for parents who:

  • Share placement of the children (Have physical custody at least 25% of the time).
  • Split placement of the children, where each parent has sole custody of some of the children, while the other parent has sole custody of the others.
  • Support more than one family, called a serial family.
  • Have a low income.
  • Have a high income.

Our team at Balisle Family Law Legal Counsel, S.C. is prepared to answer your child support questions. Our experienced Madison divorce attorneys can help you negotiate a child support payment that suits your needs.

Find out how we can meet your needs with a consultation. Contact our offices today.