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Family Law FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law

Q:

How Is Child Support Calculated?

A:

Child support is based on a combination of the parents’ incomes, the needs of the children and the physical placement schedule. It is possible, even in an equal shared placement situation, the higher earning parent will still be subject to a child support order. The court will also consider the payment of the children’s variable expenses and medical insurance premiums when determining an appropriate child support amount. Wisconsin has set child support guidelines that are relied upon by the courts and attorneys to estimate and determine the amount of child support a parent must pay.

Q:

What Is Common-Law Marriage?

A:

Wisconsin does not recognize common law marriage. It does not matter how long you have been with your partner. If you do not have a marriage certificate, you will not receive automatic inheritance rights, survivorship benefits and other spousal rights. If you are living together and wish to leave your property to your partner, have an attorney who is experienced in wills, trusts and estate planning guide you.

Q:

When Does Child Support Terminate?

A:

Child support terminates when a child reaches the age of 18, or the age of 19 if the child is still enrolled in a full-time course of education leading to the acquisition of a high school diploma or its equivalent. Additionally, if a child gets married or joins the military before the age of 18, a parent’s child support obligation may cease at that time. It’s best to consult with an experienced family law attorney if you are faced with any of those situations to determine your rights and obligations for continued support.