According to the law, children have the right to receive financial support from both parents. The amount of support is strictly determined by a complicated equation. The court may deviate from this equation, but only in limited circumstances. Your lawyer needs to make sure child support is calculated correctly and is fair to both parties and the children.
Child support is calculated by a formula written into Wisconsin’s child support law (called DCF150). The formula is based on the number of children, the placement/visitation schedule, and the income or earning capacity of each parent. The Department of Children and Families has an online child support calculator, which may be found here. The calculator provides a preliminary idea about child support in your case; but, determining the correct amount of child support is more complicated than simply filling out a questionnaire. There are also available calculators for Shared Placement, and Split Placement.
If your spouse owns a business or has multiple sources of income, it may be difficult to determine or calculate his or her exact income. Identifying this income may require the use of experts, such as forensic accountants or business specialists. We often use experts in matters involving a stay-at-home, self-employed, or part-time employed spouse.
If child support is not calculated correctly or if income is not determined accurately, someone will suffer. One parent may have to pay too much or the child may end up receiving too little. Our lawyers’ experience is a valuable tool in making sure child support agreements conform to the law.
We also handle post-judgment issues arising after the initial child support determination. If one parent’s income changes, the child support order may need to be modified. If one parent fails to pay child support, the other may file a contempt or enforcement action. The court may order the nonpaying parent to pay back child support payments that have accumulated, known as arrears.
Divorce and child custody cases can be frightening and emotionally draining. We understand, and we will work diligently to help you find the favorable and efficient resolutions you need for closure and moving forward with your life.
Contact our office to schedule your free 30-minute phone consultation today.