Get The Help You Deserve From a Proven Child Support Attorney in Madison WI
When you are getting divorced, you may wonder how your children will be affected and how you will be able to support them financially. Ongoing financial support can be a major cause of stress in any divorce, which is why it is important to have a lawyer on your side. At Balisle Family Law Legal Counsel, S.C., we work to ensure that the child support award is fair, whether you are the payer or the recipient.
Wisconsin child support guidelines use a formula based on a percentage of the parents’ gross income. If both parents have placement of their children at least 25% of the time, then each parent’s gross income is used in the calculation. If one parent has less than 25% placement, then the other parent’s gross income is not taken into consideration when calculating the amount of child support. Gross income includes income from any source, whether or not it is reported or taxed under federal law.
The child support guidelines are based on each parent’s income and the number of overnights or equivalent care time a child spends with each parent.
When Does Child Support End in Wisconsin?
By state law, the duty of a parent to support his or her child ends at 18 years of age, unless the child is enrolled in high school or working on a high school equivalency course (GED), which extends the obligation to pay child support until age 19.
If a child is emancipated, it is likely that parents have no obligation to pay child support, but there is no statute that states this. In Wisconsin, the only definition of “emancipated minor” is found in a statute regarding a minor obtaining an abortion:
Wis. Stat. §48.375(2)(e) provides, “’Emancipated minor’ means a minor who is or has been married; a minor who has previously given birth; or a minor who has been freed from the care, custody and control of her parents, with little likelihood of returning to the care, custody and control prior to marriage or prior to reaching the age of majority.”
It is likely, though not certain, that a minor who fits this definition will not be entitled to child support from a parent.
Sometimes when a parent is interfering with the other parent’s physical placement with the child, the parent believes they can stop paying child support. However, this belief is not true as Wis. Stat. §767.511(3) prohibits a parent from withholding child support in this circumstance. It states, “Violation of physical placement rights by the custodial parent does not constitute reason for failure to meet child support obligations.”
Special Circumstances in Child Support Cases
There are special formulas that adjust child support in low-income, high-income, and serial-payer situations. Further, upon request by a party, the court may deviate or modify child support payments determined by the child support guidelines if, after considering a number of factors, the court finds that use of the percentage standard is unfair to the child or to any of the parties.
A few other factors that may be considered include:
- The earning capability of each party.
- The job and education level of each party.
- The costs involved in caring for the children.
Our attorneys at Balisle Family Law Legal Counsel, S.C. can help you identify both parties’ true incomes, estimate the amount of child support that should be paid in your situation, and discuss with you whether or not a deviation from the percentage standard may be appropriate in your case.