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Understanding Wisconsin’s Child Support Laws

During divorce proceedings, courts in Wisconsin may award one spouse child support to ease the financial burdens of raising kids. Your custody agreement, income and number of children will determine who pays support and how much that sum will be.

At Schwei & Wendt S.C., our lawyers work closely with parents paying child support and those receiving it. We have a complete knowledge of the legal factors on both sides of the issue, allowing us to provide you with comprehensive guidance tailored to your needs.

Who Pays Child Support?

The spouse who has custody most of the time is typically the spouse who will receive child support. The court may still award child support to one spouse, even if both parents split custody 50 percent of the time. Child support payments are typically required until the child reaches 18 or 19 if they are still enrolled in high school or a GED course.

Wisconsin’s Child Support Calculator

Wisconsin has clear guidelines that set the foundation when calculating child support:

  • One child = 17 percent of gross income
  • Two children = 25 percent of gross income
  • Thee children = 29 percent of gross income
  • Four children = 31 percent of gross income
  • Five or more children = 34 percent of gross income

These numbers, however, may be different in shared placement arrangements (an arrangement that is defined as placement of 25 percent or greater of a particular child). The calculation will depend on the amount of placement time with each parent and their relative incomes.

When calculating the paying parent’s gross income, Wisconsin considers a broad range of sources. These include:

  • Hourly wages, salaries, tips, commissions and bonuses from an employer
  • Capital gains, interest and dividends from investment assets
  • Workers’ compensation benefits and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)
  • Veterans benefits
  • Unemployment benefits

Our attorneys have more than 50 years’ combined experience resolving complex and contentious child support and other divorce-related issues across Waukesha County. We focus on fostering a collaborative relationship between you and your ex-spouse, allowing us to resolve your issues amicably and effectively. When litigation is necessary, however, we have an extensive track record of success arguing in courtrooms throughout the state.

Additionally, if your child support payments are no longer affordable, we can work with you to receive a modification of the child support order that better fits your current financial situation.

We Are Ready To Work With You

We offer a free initial consultation to all family law clients. Call us in Waukesha at 262-373-9742 or complete the contact form on our website. We handle cases for all of Waukesha County and southeastern Wisconsin.