– from Michael O. in Muskego, WI

Question Details:

I have three children with three different women. I have never been married to anyone. I Have had a decent relationship with the three and have given them all the support I could. Now, they are all three telling me they are taking me to court for child support. I told them that if they do this they will take all my money and I will lose my house. How much in child support can the court order me to pay?

Family Law Attorney Response:

There is actually a system put in place to ensure that support is payable and can be paid within reason. This is sometimes referred to a one-child percentage, and whether this is applicable or not. It depends on how many children in total are involved. This is sometimes 17% of the adjusted gross income. However, with three children involved this would most certainly be inapplicable in your scenario. It is usually decided that the payee shall not pay in excess of 29% of the individuals adjusted gross income. The actual amount of ordered support, of course, can only be decided by the court once it has assessed the facts of the case. The child's age and level of need is also taken into consideration, as is your total income. The goal is to award the legal custodian of the child an amount that is comparable to the amount spent on the child's needs if the family had not been dissolved.

In the case of State ex rel. S.M.D. v. F.D.L. (In re Paternity of A.S.D.) 125 Wis. 2d 529, 372 N.W.2d 921 (Ct. App. 1985), a similar decision was found to be valid. This ensured that the father was not charged with paying an amount of support that would exceeds his ability to live.

If you would like to discuss this further, let me know and we can set up a consultation right away.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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