# How to Calculate Child Support in Wisconsin

How to Calculate Child Support in Wisconsin

Child support is an essential financial obligation that parents have towards their children. It ensures that children receive the necessary financial support for their well-being and development. In Wisconsin, the child support guidelines are based on the Income Shares Model, which takes into account both parents’ incomes and the number of children they have. Calculating child support in Wisconsin involves a few key steps, which we will outline in this article.

Step 1: Determine Gross Income
To calculate child support, both parents’ gross incomes are considered. Gross income includes wages, salaries, tips, bonuses, commissions, self-employment income, rental income, and any other sources of income. It is important to include all sources of income to ensure an accurate calculation.

Step 2: Deduct Allowable Deductions and Adjustments
Certain deductions and adjustments are allowed to arrive at the net income. These may include federal and state income taxes, social security taxes, mandatory union dues, health insurance premiums, and child support payments for other children. Deducting these allowances will result in the net income, which is used for the calculation.

Step 3: Determine Percentage of Income
The next step is to determine each parent’s percentage of the combined net income. This is done by dividing each parent’s net income by the combined net income. For example, if the mother’s net income is \$3,000 and the father’s net income is \$2,000, the mother’s percentage would be 60% (\$3,000 / \$5,000) and the father’s percentage would be 40% (\$2,000 / \$5,000).

Step 4: Apply Percentage to Basic Support Obligation
Wisconsin provides a table that outlines the basic support obligation based on the combined net income and the number of children. The percentage determined in Step 3 is applied to this basic support obligation to calculate each parent’s share of child support. For example, if the basic support obligation for one child is \$1,000 and the mother’s percentage is 60%, her share would be \$600 (\$1,000 x 60%).

In addition to the basic support obligation, parents may be responsible for additional expenses such as child care, health insurance premiums, and educational expenses. These expenses are divided between the parents based on their percentages of the combined net income.

Step 6: Combine Basic Support and Additional Expenses
The final step is to combine the basic support obligation and the additional expenses to determine the total child support obligation. This amount is typically paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent.

1. Can child support be modified in Wisconsin?
Yes, child support orders can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances, such as a significant change in income or the needs of the child.

2. What happens if a parent fails to pay child support?
Failure to pay child support can result in enforcement actions, such as wage garnishment, suspension of driver’s licenses, or even imprisonment.

3. Can child support be paid directly to the child?
No, child support payments are typically made to the custodial parent or through the Wisconsin Support Collections Trust Fund.

4. Does shared placement affect child support?
Yes, shared placement can affect child support calculations. The amount of physical placement each parent has with the child is considered in the calculation.

5. Can child support be waived or modified by agreement?
Yes, parents can agree to deviate from the standard child support guidelines if it is in the best interest of the child.

6. How long does child support last in Wisconsin?
Child support typically continues until the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever is later.

7. Can child support be ordered for college expenses?
Child support does not typically include college expenses. However, parents can agree to contribute to college expenses or pursue additional legal action for educational support.

8. What if a parent’s income is underreported or intentionally reduced?
If a parent’s income is underreported or intentionally reduced to avoid paying child support, the court can impute income based on earning capacity or previous income.

9. Can child support orders be enforced across state lines?
Yes, child support orders can be enforced across state lines through the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA).

Calculating child support in Wisconsin is a crucial step in ensuring the financial well-being of children. By following the guidelines outlined by the state, parents can determine their respective obligations and provide the necessary support for their children’s upbringing.