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Child support guidelines may not be perfect for every parent

When you think about child support, you understand its purpose. It's there to make sure your child has a good quality of life and the support of both parents.

How much is too much, though? You need to be able to live yourself, and you also have custody of your child. When they're with you, you need to be able to afford to provide for them, just like you do when you pay support to their mother.

Wisconsin uses guidelines to set the amount of child support that will be paid. The guidelines consider:

  • Each parent's income
  • The amount of time a child spends with each parent
  • Whether a parent is already supporting other children

The general guidelines state that a parent with a $4,000 monthly income should pay $680 a month in support for a single child. That works out to 17% of the parent's monthly income.

If you have two children and earn less, $1,500, then you'd pay $375 per month. That is equal to 25% of your income.

You may look at that and say that it would be impossible to live while paying $375 a month in support, and you might be right. That's why it's important that a judge takes all the mitigating factors into consideration. They need to look at the cost of living, your responsibilities and your ability to pay.

In shared placement cases, child support may be altered based on the time you have with your child. It can be difficult to predict how much you'll pay in the end, but your attorney can help you if you believe that your payments are too high.

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