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LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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Do I have a good case to lower child support payments Ex

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Do I have a good case to lower child support payments? Ex is remarried and does not work or works very little. Sharing custody of 3 children, ages 15,15, 18 (recently emancipated). My gross income is 150K/year.
I have pondered asking for a court hearing for a modification. At divorce hearing, ex was full time student and not employed. Court did not intend for ex not to contribute earnings for CS forever. Full ownership of CS fell on me, including maintenance (now ended). I pay a fixed amount of $2,698.36 per month. As mentioned, my oldest child was recently emancipated. My income has increased 34% since my divorce, and I worry about a judgment of paying more support. I live in the state of Wisconsin.
Good morning,

I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma.

Does your ex earn a living now---anything?
Was the original support order set out as: "x" amount per child each month, or simply, support will be "x" dollars per month for the three children?
What state did the support order come out of?

I’ll put forth my best effort in assisting you. When you are able to respond to my request for clarification of your situation, I’ll be able to assist you. In the meantime I would ask that you please stay on-line, just in case I need additional clarification from you regarding the factual circumstances relating to your question. Thank you for allowing me to help.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
My kids say she is working this summer as a substitute teacher, has worked on and off doing this during the school year also. She has a bachelor's degree, finished one year of a master's program in fine arts, and has a teaching certificate, grades K-8.

The original divorce order reads, "Child support shall continue until the youngest child reaches eighteen or is earlier emancipated, or until the youngest child reaches nineteen, if she is pursuing an accredited course of instruction leading to the acquisition of a high school diploma or its equivalent." Then it goes on, "Michael shall pay Catherine the sum of #2,698.36 per month toward the support of the minor children pursuant to an assignment of income as hereinafter provided."

Wahsington County, State of Wisconsin.

Good morning,

OK, your attorney wasn't exactly looking out for your interests when the wording of the child support order was put together. As it stands, you will continue to owe the $2,700 a month in child support, regardless of how many of the minors are emancipated.

However, you might consider filing a petition to modify support--if your support for the remaining 2 children will be lowered.

Using a best case scenario approach, if we know that you earn roughly 150K a year gross, and if the court will impute the income earning capacity of your ex at, say 30-40K a year, under Wisconsin guidelines, you would be expected to pay approximately $3,000 just for the 2 children who are not yet emancipated.

The real problem you have is that the amount you pay for support is based more on your income and the number of nights your children spend with you. If you can show that the two 15 year olds spend at least 1/3 of the year sleeping in your home, you potentially could have support lowered to about $2,250.00 a month.

As a result you may want to reconsider seeking any kind of a modification at this point in time.

I wish you the best.

Thank you very much for having allowed me to assist you. It would be greatly appreciated if you would click the green Accept icon so that I can receive credit for having assisted you.

Best regards,


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