Hartford, WI Child Support Attorneys

Hartford WI Child Support Attorneys

We are here to help defend and protect your interests through each step of your legal proceedings.

In Wisconsin, being a parent comes with certain rights, as well as obligations. One of these obligations is the responsibility to financially provide for one’s child. When it comes to divorce or unmarried parents, this takes the form of child support payments, which are calculated based on both parties’ incomes, as well as how parenting time is divided between them. Although it is possible to modify a child support order at a later date, it can be difficult to do so, making it especially important for divorcing parents to speak with an experienced Hartford, WI child support attorney who can ensure that the initial award is fair.

What Counts as Income?

When it comes to calculating income for child support purposes, courts look at earnings from all sources, including:

  • Salary;
  • Wages;
  • Tips;
  • Contributions to 401(k) accounts and other retirement funds;
  • Bonuses;
  • Commissions;
  • Interest on assets and investments;
  • Workers’ compensation benefits;
  • Unemployment insurance;
  • Social Security disability payments; and
  • Military allowances and veterans benefits.

There are, however, a few types of income that are not taken into consideration when calculating child support, such as public assistance payments like food stamps and any amount already being paid in child support for another child. Even when a parent is unemployed, a court can still require him or her to make child support payments in an amount that is reasonable based on a number of factors, including:

  • The parent’s past earnings;
  • The party’s physical and mental health;
  • Who was primarily responsible for the majority of childcare responsibilities in the past;
  • The parent’s education; and
  • Local job openings.

In some cases, courts are also willing to count assets, such as business interests, stocks, bonds, and life insurance policies if one party’s income is not enough to satisfy child support obligations. Because calculating income plays such a crucial role in determining child support awards, it is critical for divorcing parties to speak with an experienced attorney who can ensure that only the proper amounts are taken into consideration.

Calculating Child Support 

Once both parties’ incomes have been established, a child support award will be issued based on the state’s standard guidelines. In most cases, this involves the application of the standard percentage guideline, which applies when the paying parent’s income is between $1,250 and $7,000 a month. In these cases, parents will owe a certain percentage of their income, which varies depending on the number of children being supported. For instance, when only one child needs to be financially supported, the paying parent will be required to pay 17% of his or her income in child support. The remaining percentages are as follows:

  • 25% for two children;
  • 29% for three children;
  • 31% for four children; and
  • 34% for five or more children.

If a paying parent makes less than $1,350 or more than $7,000 a month, then the court will implement either the low-income payer table or the high-income payer table instead of the standard guidelines. Courts are also willing to lower child support payments if the paying parent is already supporting another child from a previous relationship.

Call Today for a Free Consultation

If you have questions about your own child support obligations, please call MacGillis Wiemer, LLC at 414-727-5150 to schedule a free consultation with one of our dedicated Hartford, WI child support attorneys.