# Calculate Child Support Payments in Wisconsin

## Use this calculator to estimate your monthly child support payment based on Wisconsin's guidelines—and learn when a different amount might apply in your case.

Disclaimer: Please remember that these calculators are for informational and educational purposes only.

## Wisconsin Child Support Calculator

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## How to Use the Wisconsin Child Support Calculator

When you've filled in the boxes and clicked on the calculate button, you'll get a rough estimate of the amount of child support that the noncustodial parent will have to pay to the custodial parent (the parent with whom the children live most of the time) under Wisconsin's "percentage standard."

But note that this calculator may not apply in some situations, including when:

• the parents share custody of the children, meaning that both parents have the children at least 92 days a year (known as "shared placement" in Wisconsin)
• the parents have split custody, meaning that each parent has primary custody of at least one of their children
• parents are supporting children from other relationships (known as "serial family cases"), and
• parents have particularly low or high incomes.

Wisconsin's Department of Children and Families (DCF) provides tools to estimate child support in these and other scenarios.

## When Support May Deviate From Wisconsin's Child Support Guidelines

Wisconsin's percentage standard for child support takes into account only the income of the noncustodial parent and the number of children that will be supported. However, this straight percentage formula might be unfair in certain circumstances—especially when parents share custody of their kids. The DCF calculators and worksheets (mentioned above) address the most common of these situations. But Wisconsin law lists a number of other considerations that could justify a judge's decision to order an amount of support that's different than the straight percentage calculation. (Wis. Stat. § 767.511(1m) (2022).)

Learn more about how child support works in Wisconsin, including the factors judges must consider when they're deciding whether the percentage standard would be unfair.

Parents may agree on an amount of child support between themselves, but their agreement (or "stipulation") must meet the guidelines in Wisconsin's child support standards. Otherwise, a judge won't approve the agreement. (Wis. Stat. § 767.34 (2022).)

## How to Apply for Child Support in Wisconsin

Typically, you'll apply for child support as part of the process of filing for divorce in Wisconsin.

If you aren't married to your child's other parent, you may get help with requesting support by applying for child support services from Wisconsin's DCF. If needed, the DCSS may also help with establishing the child's legal paternity.

## How to Collect Child Support in Wisconsin

Child support is usually paid through income withholding—meaning that the paying parent's employer will take the support amount out of that parent's paycheck and send it to the state. When an income withholding order won't work (such as when parents are self-employed or between jobs), there are other methods of paying child support through the Wisconsin Support Collections Trust Fund. However the payments are made, the state will then turn over the money to the parent who's receiving the child support.

If a parent is behind with child support payments, Wisconsin's local child support agencies may take a number of enforcement actions. Learn more about child support enforcement in Wisconsin.

## How to Change the Amount of Child Support in Wisconsin

If you want to change the amount of child support you're paying or receiving, you'll need to get an order from a judge. There are different ways to request a modification order:

• If you and the other parent agree on the proposed modification, you may file a "Stipulation to Change" with the county court clerk.
• Either parent may file a motion (request) for a modification with the court clerk.
• You may ask your local child support agency to review your existing support order. If the agency proceeds with a review and decides that a modification is required, it will ask the parents to sign an agreement. But if they don't agree, the agency will request a modification from the court.

Whichever route you take, a judge will have to decide whether to change the order. And Wisconsin judges won't do that unless they find there's been a substantial change in circumstances (such as a significant change in the paying parent's income or the child's needs) since the existing order went into effect. (Wis. Stat. § 767.59(1f) (2022).)