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Wisconsin's Bureau of Child Support - For information about the establishment of paternity and the establishment and enforcement of court ordered child support and medical support obligations.
A Child Support Tragedy A story about a Wisconsin Dad
If you believe that you are being impoverished by the court ordered child support obligations see maximum child support obligation.
Defining a child support award in Wisconsin
Child Support Calculator is available to define the presumed correct amount of child support, to demonstrate if this is fair to the children and both parents, and to compare the results to two methods currently proposed to the existing Wisconsin DWD 40 child support standard.
If you have the standard cookie-cutter "every second weekend and one night through the week" shared placement schudule, this simple child support calculator is available from the Department of Children and Familes (DCF).
Wisconsin's DWD 40 child support standard. (Summary version.)
Wisconsin's DWD 40 Percentage of income child support standard. (Complete version.)
The directive to apply the DWD 40 standard are in Wis. 767.511(1J):
Except as provided in sub. (1m), the court shall determine child support payments by using the percentage standard established by the department under s. 49.22 (9). ( DWD 40 child support standard)
The court may deviate from this amount per 767.41(1m)
Upon request by a party, the court may modify the amount of child support payments determined under sub. (1j) if, after considering the following factors, the court finds by the greater weight of the credible evidence that use of the percentage standard is unfair to the child or to any of the parties:
(a) The financial resources of the child.
(b) The financial resources of both parents.
(bj) Maintenance received by either party.
(bp) The needs of each party in order to support himself or herself at a level equal to or greater than that established under 42 USC 9902 (2).
(bz) The needs of any person, other than the child, whom either party is legally obligated to support.
(c) If the parties were married, the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not ended in annulment, divorce or legal separation.
(d) The desirability that the custodian remain in the home as a fulltime parent.
(e) The cost of day care if the custodian works outside the home, or the value of custodial services performed by the custodian if the custodian remains in the home.
(ej) The award of substantial periods of physical placement to both parents.
(em) Extraordinary travel expenses incurred in exercising the right to periods of physical placement under s. 767.471.
(f) The physical, mental and emotional health needs of the child, including any costs for health insurance as provided for under sub. (4m).
(g) The child’s educational needs.
(h) The tax consequences to each party.
(hm) The best interests of the child.
(hs) The earning capacity of each parent, based on each parent’s education, training and work experience and the availability of work in or near the parent’s community.
(i) Any other factors which the court in each case determines are relevant.
Easy way to modify existing child support order
The easiest and least adversarial way to modify an existing child support order is to work out an agreement with your ex spouse, download and print form FA-604 or MS word fill in version FA-604 ( Petition, Stipulation and Order Amending Judgment Affecting Family) from the Wisconsin Court System web site. Fill out, sign this form (both parties), and submit it to the office of the court commissioner or judge who entered the original order.
The Hard way to modify existing child support order
If you can't get agreement on child support modification use forms here or download them:
FA-4170 Notice of Motion and Motion to change: Legal Custody, Physical Placement, Child Support or Spousal Maintenance
FA-4171 Order to Show Cause and Affidavit: Change of Legal Custody, Physical Placement, Child Support, Spousal Maintenance, Other
FA-4175 Decision & Order on Motion or Order To Show Cause to: Change of Legal Custody, Physical Placement, Child Support, Spousal Maintenance, Other.
Child Support Reform proposals
Wisconsin-style serial family child support provision is unconstitutional per a
Tennessee Court of Appeals .
It ruled that a provision in the state's child-support guidelines is unconstitutional because it prevents courts from considering subsequent children or those children not subject to a child-support order in setting child support for another child.
The courts decision is available at: http://www.divorcetn.com/gallaher.pdf
The Tennessee provision found to be unconstitutional is at at http://www.state.tn.us/sos/rules/1240/1240-02/1240-02-04.pdf
Wisconsin SB156/AB250 proposed factors for use in serial families to correct this constitutional deficiency. See: http://www.execpc.com/fairsupport/sbser.htm
SupportGuidelines.com is a comprehensive resource, provided by the American Bar Association, for the interpretation and application of child support guidelines in the United States. This site provides access to child support guidelines for all the states. Also available are on-line child support calculators for calculating child support awards in many states.
Need an expert witness to testify on the economics of raising children, see http://www.guidelineeconomics.com
If you need help, contact the Wisconsin Fathers Helpline