Child support: Should I get an adjustment?

Child support: Should I get an adjustment?

My children’s mother and I are divorced, and she recently received a big promotion and raise at her work. Now I think I’m paying a disproportionate share of the child support. What can I do to get it adjusted? Should I be concerned about how any adjustments may affect my tax situation?

You may be able to have the amount you pay in child support reviewed if there has been a substantial change in circumstances, such as a significant change in income or a serious illness or disability, according to attorney Brian Weber.

A change in child support would not affect your income tax situation. Child support is not taxable income to the recipient or a deduction to the payer.

If you do not have the children at least 25% of the overnights, then your child support obligation is a simple calculation you pay 17% percent of your gross income for one child, 25% for two, 29% for three, 31% for four and 34% for five or more.  While the courts may deviate from this in certain circumstances, these are almost always the orders that a court enters for child support.

If you are a shared-time payer, which means you have them more than 25% of the overnights, the calculation formula includes a consideration of both of your incomes and the percentage of overnights you each have them.  The courts may consider two 6-hour time periods the equivalent of one overnight if a parent provides a meal during that time. 

Assuming you each have the children an equal amount of time, an increase in income by the other parent would have an impact on the formula. Depending on the size of the raise, you could end up getting a payment from the other parent, or at least a reduction in your payment.

If you are a shared-time payer, then you also have the responsibility for costs of clothing, food and other expenses while the children are in your care. In addition, you would split such costs as daycare, tuition, school lunches and extracurricular activities based on the percentage of time that the children are with you, such as 50/50 or 60/40.

For more information about family law in Wisconsin, contact Brian Weber at 608-526-9320.


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