How to Predict an Award of Child Support

How to Predict an Award of Child Support

Latrice Knighton is a member of the Sterling Law Offices partner team and an award-winning divorce attorney, life coach, and speaker. She helps clients resolve their problems by using legal techniques and smart tactics learned through decades of experience as well as helping clients by offering the best practical advice.

by | Jan 24, 2019

Child support is money paid to one parent for the support, maintenance, and education of the child. There are many different factors that attribute to the amount of money paid which is why no two cases are alike.

The child support system is important as it is set in place in order to protect the overall wellbeing of the child. This system ensures that the guardian is receiving enough money to help pay for food, clothes, shelter, and any other necessity for them to survive.

What is not covered in child support?

Voluntary gifts and payment of rent, which benefit the child when the child is with you, may not be considered support.

Is there an account of what the support money paid is used for?

The court does not usually require the parent to account for the support but it is possible in particular circumstances.

When does child support end?

Once the child is emancipated by state law or as agreed by the parties. Typically it is when the child turns 18 or graduates with a high school diploma.

Need to know facts about child support:

  1. All states, including Wisconsin, have guidelines by which courts determine support.
  2. In Wisconsin, the court determines child support payments by using the formula created by the Department of Children and Families, which considers the income of each parent and the amount of physical placement with each parent. This formula can be seen though the child support calculator.
  3. The support amount must be expressed as a fixed sum unless the parties have agreed to express the amount as a percentage of the payer’s income.
  4. You can visit the Wisconsin Child Support Office’s website for great tools to estimate income and support amounts. The website goes over:
    • Shared-placement cases
    • Serial family cases
    • Split-placement cases
    • Combination of both split-placement & shared-placement family
    • High-income-payer calculator

Who would pay for the Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) if they get appointed?

The judge decides who pays the GAL’s service. Generally, each parent is responsible for one-half of the GA’s total costs, including the GAL’s legal fees and investigation costs, such as tests and experts.


References: Wisconsin Child Support Office

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