Questions And Answers About Child Support In Wisconsin

Child support is fairly straightforward, yet it is one of the biggest sources of frustration and strife for parents. Many people don’t understand how support is calculated or how to assert their rights if something goes wrong.

This child support FAQ addresses some common questions and scenarios. To discuss your specific situation, you can reach out to the experienced family law attorneys of D'Angelo & Grabow, LLP.

How is child support calculated in Wisconsin?

The presumptive amount of child support is based on a statutory formula. The main factors are the gross incomes of the parents, the number of children, the ratio of placement with each parent, and any special needs of the child. The court can also deviate upward or downward from the guidelines to account for other factors.

Is child support different if we were never married?

No. The court uses the same criteria for divorcing parents or unmarried parents. A paternity test may be required if there is some doubt about who is the biological father of the child.

How long does child support last?

In Wisconsin, child support continues until age 18. Or up to age 19 if the child is still in high school.

Can child support be increased or decreased?

Either parent can petition to modify child support if there has been a significant change in circumstances. For example, if the paying parent loses a job or the recipient parent gets a big raise, a decrease may be merited. Likewise, if the paying parent is earning more the court may increase support. A change in child placement can also trigger a child support modification.

What if the other parent is not paying child support?

The paying parent cannot refuse to pay child support, even if the other parent is denying scheduled visitation. Child support arrears do not expire. You can petition the court to compel unpaid support, including wage garnishment or tax liens.

Are parents required to pay for college?

Wisconsin does not compel parents to fund higher education. The financial obligation ends at age 18. Some divorce settlements stipulate that the parents contribute to an adult child’s college, but only if both parents agree to those terms.

What Else Do You Want To Know About Child Support?

We provide a free initial consultation for divorce and custody clients, to answer questions and explain how we can protect your interests. Call our Waukesha law office at 262-383-2700 or use the email form.