Articles Posted in Child Support

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In a recent decision, a father appealed from an order affirming the family court commissioner’s decision to impute about $13,400 in monthly income to him so that it could modify his Wisconsin child support obligation. The father appealed, arguing that the income had been imputed to him without enough evidence and that the court had mistakenly frustrated his efforts to give evidence about his and his former spouse’s incomes.

The couple petitioned for a legal separation in 2003. They entered a settlement agreement and the court adjudicated a legal separation. The couple had two minor children. The legal separation judgment was changed into a divorce judgment.

Multiple orders were made about the kids’ physical custody and placement. The state was worried that their basic needs weren’t met without public assistance and tried to modify the child support order. It asked that the lower court decide matters connected to their health care and insurance. The father stipulated to give them health insurance.

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It can be important to hire an attorney to negotiate a marital settlement agreement in Milwaukee. The agreement will need to be approved by the court, and provisions about issues like child support need to be carefully considered in light of Wisconsin family law.

In a recent case, a couple was married in 1997 and divorced several years after. They had a two-year-old daughter when they divorced and their marital settlement agreement included child support provisions as well as Section 71 payments from the husband to the wife.

The marital settlement agreement asked that the court hold child support open and the couple agreed that if the court ordered child support, the recipient would need to return the whole amount of child support to the payer. The only payments that were supposed to be made between the couple were Section 71 payments and $200,000. Maintenance was otherwise waived.

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The Wisconsin courts take child support payments very seriously and demand that parents pay close attention to ensure that they are meeting their obligations. While many may think that child support is something that can be put on hold for a period of time while dealing with tough or unpredictable circumstances, the reality is that courts will allow parents very little leeway around their obligations to pay. This is illustrated in a recent decision before the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

In Henson v. Henson, Mr. and Mrs. Henson became estranged in 2012. During a child support hearing that year, the Waushara County Child Support Agency petitioned the court to order Mr. Henson to pay child support to Mrs. Henson because the children were living with her at that time. After reviewing financial records and Mr. Henson’s income, Mr. Henson was ordered to pay $116 per week in child support.

In 2015, the child support agency moved to modify that child support order after Mr. Henson left his job and moved into self-employment. Based on the previous unemployment income he had received and his current self-employment, the agency made a recommendation that his child support be increased to $144 per month. Mr. Henson opposed this increase and argued that he had been diagnosed as diabetic and demoted at his old job after he was found unconscious. When he challenged the demotion, he was fired. He stated that although he was now self-employed, he had had difficulty in finding new work, and his unemployment benefits had run out. The court, however, followed the child support agency’s recommendation and raised Mr. Henson’s monthly child support obligations.