costs shared by the parties based on what the parents agree to or, when parents don’t agree, variable costs based on lists each parent submits to the court. Required in those lists: transportation costs related to physical placement.
The Shared-Time Formula
The new guidelines allow courts to apply a shared-time formula in cases where one parent cares for the child for periods of time that the court determines are equivalent to overnights, but aren’t actually overnight visits. This is called equivalent care, and it refers to blocks of time that are six hours or more during which the parent provided the child with a meal, which is considered a half-day. Under the new guidelines, courts can consider two separate half-day blocks as equivalent to an overnight visit.
Children’s Social Security
Under the new guidelines, when one parent is receiving a child’s Social Security benefit, the child support amount should be the greater of the normal percentage standard or the amount of the child’s benefit.
Medical Support Under Wisconsin’s New Child Support Guidelines
The measure of reasonable cost for health insurance increased on July 1, also. Previously, it was 5 percent of each parent’s gross monthly income – but now it’s 10 percent. It’s applied toward the full cost of the policy, not just the incremental cost of adding a child or children.
The Low-Income Formula
The new guidelines allow courts to combine the low-income formula with the other child support formulas.
The Serial Family Formula
If a parent must also support a child in an intact family, he or she is considered a serial-family payer.
In that case, if the court determines that the serial-family payer’s income has been diminished to a level under the low-income formula, the court can mix the serial-family formula with the low-income formula to come up with a fair amount.
Income and Benefits Under the New Guidelines
When the court is establishing a child support order, contributions to pensions or retirement accounts are considered income. The same is true for veterans disability compensation.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Child Support?
If you need to talk to an attorney about your child support obligations while you’re going through a divorce, we may be able to help you.