There is often confusion regarding the legal meaning of the terms custody and placement. Custody refers to the right to make major life decisions regarding the child, such as their religious upbringing, education, permission to obtain a driver's license, join the military or marry before the age of 18. Parents can be awarded either sole or joint custody. Placement refers to the amount of time the child actually spends with the individual parent. This can range from occassional visits to equal time with each parent. However, the court is obligated to set a placement schedule "that allows the child to have regular occurring meaningful periods of physical placement with each parent and that maximizes the amount of time the child may spend with each parent." In Wisconsin custody and placement are are governed by Wisconsin Statute Section 767.41.
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Both parents have a duty to support their children. Child support is based on the gross income (after tax) of the payer If one parent has overnight placement more than 75% of the time, the standard child support guidelines are as follows:
# of children % of gross income
5 or more 34%
These percentages may be adjusted if the payer has a particularly high or low income. When the parties share placement (both parents have placement at least 25% of the time) child support is based on both parent's gross income and reflects the percentage of time the children are with each parent. For more information see the State of Wisconsin Child Support Tools at http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/bcs/order/guidelines_tools.htm
Don't allow yourself to be shortchanged or put in a position that is impossible. Retain the help of a highly responsive family lawyer to handle your child support modification issue to help ensure the best possible outcome for your case. You can be confident that I will fight hard for all of your legal rights and options.
Situations change over time and can lead to a need to raise or lower child support. Get the experienced legal answers you need to assess your situation and choose the best way to legally handle your changing circumstances. Let me lead you to a fair outcome in your case.