Brookfield, WI Child Support Attorney
Child support is often a contentious issue, as it invariably happens that one party believes he or she is set to receive too little while the other believes that he or she is expected to pay too much. That said, despite how much either party opposes the amount, the judge has little say in the final amount, as he or she is forced to follow a set of strict guidelines when setting the amount. The judge has little authority to deviate from the guidelines save in limited circumstances. That said, a Brookfield, WI, child support attorney can help ensure that the amount is fair for both parties and, more importantly, affordable for the liable parent.
The Purpose of Child Support
Despite popular belief, child support is not strictly for food, clothing, and shelter for the child. A lot of payors are surprised to learn that child support can be used to pay for a wide range of expenses, including but not limited to dinners out, vacation expenses, beauty services, toys, and other non-necessities. The point of child support is not just to ensure that the child is well taken care of in both parents’ homes, but also, to ensure that the child enjoys the same standard of living in both homes. Some uncommon but legitimate expenses custodial parents can use child support payments for include the following:
- Cleaning supplies;
- Costs of travel;
- Home maintenance; and
- Vehicle maintenance.
Each of the aforementioned expenses inadvertently benefits the child and is an acceptable use of child support. That said, anything that does NOT benefit the child in some way, such as drugs or alcohol, or a vacation for a parent without the child, is not an acceptable use of child support. Though there is no way to monitor child support spending, if a payor suspects that the payee is spending the money on him or herself and not the child, he or she can notify the court, which may or may not order an investigation.
Why Child Support Attorneys are Necessary
Too many parents try to sort out child support issues on their own, but this could be a huge mistake. If you fail to report any portion of your income, or if you underestimate your total expenses, you may end up paying more than you can afford/receiving less than you need/being accused of trying to cheat the system. An experienced lawyer can help you fill out the paperwork in such a way that offers the most accurate reporting and that ensures fairness across the board.
Additionally, some couples’ financial circumstances are simply more complicated than others. For instance, if a party to a couple owns his or her own business or has multiple sources of income, it may be difficult to determine just how much income that person actually brings home each month. In these situations, a skilled lawyer can help identify and calculate the exact amount of income that person receives.
Finally, an attorney can help determine the earning capacity of a stay-at-home parent and ensure that the working parent does not have to pay more simply because the other parent did not work during the duration of their marriage.
Contact Our Brookfield Child Support Lawyers
If you have questions about your child support obligation or award, or if you want to ensure that your child support order is for a fair amount, contact MacGillis Wiemer, LLC, to schedule a confidential consultation today.