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Two tricks that won’t reduce divorce support payments

| Jan 25, 2021 | Family Law |

What do Wisconsin judges consider when determining spousal and child support obligations? Ultimately, rulings depend on case specifics. However, jural parties are bound to certain divorce dissolution guidelines.

Income calculations for Wisconsin alimony and spousal support

Income partially determines spousal and child support, and under state law, nearly all types of compensation qualify, including:

  1. Salary and bonuses
  2. Partnership and corporation distribution payments
  3. Retirement contributions
  4. Rental property proceeds
  5. Interest
  6. Sole proprietorship earnings

In short, anything that makes an individual money counts as income in the eyes of the law. Once that number is set, judges allocate between 6.8% and 34% of the payer’s monthly intake, depending on custody arrangements, number of children and lifestyle.

Red flag income alerts for Wisconsin alimony and spousal support

Income isn’t the only factor considered when calculating divorce-related payments. Typically, courts first consult tax returns to establish a ballpark understanding of the paying party’s fiduciary circumstances. And when things don’t match up, they dig deeper.

Divorce decree judges can also consider real estate, stock options, art, jewels, boats, and generational wealth. Two common red flags are tax machinations and lifestyle downgrading.

Tax Machinations: Many people mistakenly think that doctoring taxes will mitigate child/spousal support payments. But if your lifestyle doesn’t match your income, authorities will assess all assets — even ones that may not be in your name.

Lifestyle Downgrading: Another trick people try to use is lifestyle downgrading. In anticipation of a divorce, they’ll redirect funds for a year and claim to be unemployed or underemployed. This rarely works because judges look at earnings over the course of the marriage and not just a snapshot.

Experienced negotiators can make a big difference in divorce cases

Hammering out a divorce deal is rarely fun or easy. Having an experienced negotiator on your side could make a world of difference. They understand how the courts work and will guide you to the best possible outcome based on your case’s facts.