Month: April 2018

Calculating Wisconsin Child Support

calculating wisconsin child supportEvery child is entitled to support from their parents. If you divorce with children, child support is intended to cover basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, utilities, transportation and health insurance. There is a legal obligation to support a child until they turn 18 or longer, if they are still in high school or pursuing a GED.

Calculating Wisconsin Child Support

Wisconsin courts use the percentage of income standard to calculate child support payments. The percentage of income guideline breaks down as follows:

17% of income for 1 child
25% of income for 2 children
29% of income for 3 children
31% of income for 4 children
34% of income for 5 or more children

Generally, the court will consider the parents’ incomes, the time the child spends with each parent and if either parent is supporting children from a previous marriage or relationship when applying the standard. Different child support guidelines (Wisconsin Department of Children and Families) may be applied in circumstances of shared placement, serial family, split-placement and high or low income payer cases.

Income Included When Calculating Wisconsin Child Support

Sources of income to be considered will include wages, tips, salaries, bonuses, and commissions; interest and capital gains on property and investments; workers’ comp or personal injury awards that replace income; unemployment; SSDI; military benefits or allowances; and some retirement contributions.

Child support can also be based on a parent’s ability to earn. A child support obligation can be determined by looking at past earnings, education, work experience and the like, which unearths the earning potential the parent has to support the child.

Enforcing Wisconsin Child Support Payments

If parents do not make timely payments, child support agencies have the power to place a lien on the debtor’s property, intercept federal or state income tax returns and deny the parent the ability to obtain business loans or certain college funding. A debtor may also be prevented from obtaining a passport or have their professional, recreational or driver’s license restricted or suspended. Ordered child support that is not paid will continue to be enforced and collected long after the child reaches the age of majority.

Modification to Wisconsin Child Support Orders

In some cases, a child support order may be modified to either increase of decrease the child support obligation. This may happen if one parent loses their job and cannot pay the ordered support or perhaps if a parent’s income goes up substantially in the future. Visit with your attorney promptly if there is a substantial change in your or your ex spouse’s circumstances.

Contact an Experienced Child Support Lawyer

If you have questions regarding calculating Wisconsin child support, contact the Waukesha and Milwaukee child support law attorneys of Probst Law Offices, S.C. for more information at 414-210-3135.

Appealing Wisconsin Family Court Commissioner Order

Appealing Wisconsin Family Court Commissioner OrderTypically, in Wisconsin, family law matters will be heard in front of a family court commissioner out of a need for efficiency and expediency. Sometimes parties believe that the commissioner “got it wrong” and wonder if there is any recourse.  The answer is yes. If you disagree with a commissioner’s decision in a contested family court commissioner hearing, you have the right to appeal a Wisconsin family court commissioner order.

Appealing Wisconsin Family Court Commissioner Order

Any party has the right to file a review of a court commissioner’s order or can request a new hearing by filing a de novo motion for review.  The difference between the two is that a motion filed simply as a review is really just requesting that a judge decide whether the commissioner properly exercised his or her discretion. On the other hand, in a de novo motion for review, you will be entitled to a new hearing, which can result in a completely different outcome depending on the court’s findings.

De Novo Motion for Review Hearings

If you go the de novo review route, recent case law holds that a ‘full’ evidentiary hearing is in the best interest of all parties to avoid appeals or reversals. Any new evidence or issues that have come up since the initial hearing may be heard providing an important opportunity to present newly discovered or overlooked information that may help your case.

Although rules vary from county to county, filing a de novo motion for review of a family court commissioner’s order is often subject to a strict timeline and may require certain documents to accompany the filing. It is important to check on the local court rules to ensure you are in compliance with the requirements.

Contact a Divorce Lawyer With Decades of Wisconsin Family Court Experience

If you have questions regarding a Wisconsin divorce or the process of appealing Wisconsin family court commissioner orders, contact the Waukesha and Milwaukee family law offices of Probst Law Offices S.C. for more information today at 414-210-3135.

Wisconsin Alimony

Wisconsin AlimonyMany spouses from the baby boomer generation divided the responsibilities of a family by having one earn income outside of the home, aka the breadwinner, while the other stayed home with the children, perhaps while holding down a part time job to make ends meet.

Flash forward 20 years and nearly 50 percent of couples of that generation are now contemplating divorce, likely leaving the spouse who gave up his or her career to stay home with the children worried about how they will manage financially. That’s where spousal maintenance comes in.

If you and your spouse have been married for a long duration and are divorcing, and there is a large disparity in income, one spouse will likely be ordered to pay spousal maintenance to the other for an indefinite period of time.

Contrast this with someone who has had a marriage of a short duration and they may be looking at temporary support until the recipient can get back on their feet, perhaps by brushing up on job skills via training or education.

A judge considers many factors when determining if and how much spousal maintenance to award, which includes the length of the marriage, the age of the parties involved, health or disability factors, income, future earning power, education, and job skills. The court strives to make it fair so that both parties can move forward.

Wisconsin Alimony

Experience Does Matter – Contact Waukesha Spousal Maintenance Lawyer Jane Probst

An order for Wisconsin alimony will depend greatly on your attorney’s ability to make a case for or against spousal maintenance. If you are seeking spousal maintenance for yourself or are the potential payer of alimony and believe your ex could be self-supporting, it is important to work with an experienced Wisconsin spousal support lawyer to argue on your behalf. Contact the Waukesha Family Law Offices of Jane E. Probst for more information regarding Wisconsin spousal maintenance at 414-210-3135.