Milwaukee County Child Support Lawyers

We are here to help defend and protect your parental rights.

Along with parental rights, such as the right to have visitation with one’s child, parents also have certain legal responsibilities toward their children, including the obligation to provide for their basic support. In cases in which a child’s parents are divorcing or unmarried, this responsibility takes the form of regular child support payments. How much a parent is required to pay to support the child depends on each party’s income, how physical placement is divided, and the child’s specific needs, so it is difficult to estimate how much a parent will owe in child support without assessing these factors on a case by case basis. For help ensuring that your own child is provided for or that you are not required to pay more than you are able, please call an experienced Milwaukee County child support attorney for help.

How is Child Support Calculated?

In Wisconsin, how much child support a parent owes depends in large part on his or her income.  When calculating income, courts look at earnings not only from salaries and wages, but from a variety of sources, including:

  • Commissions;
  • Bonuses;
  • Tips;
  • Contributions to retirement funds, such as 401(k) accounts;
  • Interest accrued on investments;
  • Capital gains;
  • Personal injury awards;
  • Benefits provided by a workers’ compensation program;
  • Unemployment insurance;
  • Disability benefits; and
  • Military allowances..

There are also some types of income that are not taken into account when making these calculations, such as public assistance and payments already being made to support another child. Furthermore, just because a parent is unemployed, does not mean that he or she is off the hook for child support, as courts are still willing to award support based on a person’s ownership of business interests, life insurance policies, cash, deposit accounts, and stocks and bonds.

Standard Guidelines

Once the incomes of both parties have been determined, the court will apply the state’s standard guidelines, which involves applying a predetermined percentage to a party’s income. However, this standard will only be used if the parent’s income falls between $1,250 and $7,000. For instance, based on these guidelines, if only one child was being supported, a parent would be required to dedicate 17% of his or her income to that child’s financial support. For two children, the percentage would be increased to 25%, while three children would require the use of 29% of the paying parent’s income. If the support of five or more children is involved, a parent could be required to pay as much as 34% of his or her income.

In the event that a parent makes less than $1,350 a month, courts will instead use the low-income payer table when calculating child support, while parents who make more than $7,000 will be subject to the high-income payer table. Finally, if both parents provide roughly equivalent childcare, courts have the option of applying the shared-time formula, under which both parents will be required to pay basic support costs in proportion to how much time they spend with their child.

Contact a Dedicated Milwaukee County, WI Attorney Today

Please call one of the dedicated child support attorneys at MacGillis Wiemer, LLC today to learn more about your potential child support obligations. You can reach us at 414-727-5150 or by sending us an online message.