As a Beloit family law firm, it’s common for our clients to show concern for just how much child support they’ll be liable to pay following a divorce or separation. This concern is rarely expressed negatively: despite what happens between a couple, parents are almost always eager to adequately provide for their children.
But due to economic or financial factors, payers are understandably interested in balancing the need to provide for family while maintaining an adequate standard of living themselves.
Can you pay a lesser amount?
Yes, but only in certain circumstances. In Wisconsin, there are five scenarios in which payers may be eligible for a lesser payment.
Scenario 1: Serial Family Parent
If you are about to become liable to pay child support, but you already pay support for another child, you might be considered a ‘Serial-Family Parent.’
Under this alternative calculation, the current amount you pay will be subtracted from your available support income, thereby reducing the subsequent child support obligation.
Scenario 2: High Income Payers
If you earn a significant salary, you may be entitled to pay a reduced percentage of your gross income available for support.
To be eligible for a reduced payment percentage, you must earn at least $7,000/month or $84,000 per year.
Scenario 3: Low Income Payers
You may also qualify for reduced child support payments if you earn a modest salary. ‘Low income’ is determined based on the federal poverty guidelines — if in southern Wisconsin, please speak with an experienced Beloit family law firm for assistance in determining eligibility.
Scenario 4: Two or More Children
If you’re in a situation in which you and your former spouse have two or more children, and you both have placement of at least one child each, it’s possible you may be eligible for reduced support.
Scenario 5: Shared Placement
One of the most common ways to reduce child support payment is to have shared placement. Shared placement occurs when a non-custodial parent has a child, or children, at least 92 days out of the year. If you are eligible, the State will use a specific formula to minimize child support payment.
Aside from the scenarios as outlined above, it is still possible that the court will impute income and force a payor to pay greater support. It’s essential that you speak to a family law attorney to parse out the specifics. And, keep in mind, that any one or a combination of the above scenarios will be used to determine your child support obligation.
If you are seeking child support, or are being petitioned for child support payment, contact an experienced Beloit Family Law firm, The Fitzgerald Law Firm, today for a free consultation. We understand that meetings may not be possible during traditional business hours, so please let us know a time that works for you and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.