Setting Child Support Payment Amounts

The Percentage of Income Standard provides guidelines to Wisconsin courts for setting payment amounts for child support and medical support. These guidelines are based on the belief that both parents are responsible for supporting their children, whether they live together or not.

The child support guidelines are based on:

  • the parent’s income
  • the time a child spends with each parent
  • whether a parent is supporting other children

Percentage of Income Guidelines

Each of the percentages below are applied to the parent's income for child support:

  • 17% of income for 1 child
  • 25% of income for 2 children
  • 29% of income for 3 children
  • 31% of income for 4 children
  • 34% of income for 5 or more children

Examples: (Percentage x monthly income)

Monthly Income 1 child
(17%)
2 children
(25%)
3 children
(29%)
4 children
(31%)
5 children
(34%)
$1,500 $255 $375 $435 $465 $510
$2,000 $340 $500 $580 $620 $680
$2,500 $425 $625 $725 $775 $850
$3,000 $510 $750 $870 $930 $1,020
$3,500 $595 $875 $1,015 $1,085 $1,190
$4,000 $680 $1,000 $1,160 $1,240 $1,360

More examples using the basic guidelines

Guidelines for Special Circumstances

In special cases, the court may use other guidelines to set support. Special cases involve:

  • parents who share placement of their children (the court order states that the parents will share the placement of their children at least 25% of the time - at least 92 days/year)
  • parents who support more than one family. This situation is known as a serial family situation.
  • parents who split the placement of their children (the court order gives one parent the placement of one or more children and gives the other parent placement of the other children)
  • parents with a low income
  • parents with a high income

Note: A court may order a parent to pay more or less than the amounts set by the Percentage Standard if the court decides that the Standard would be unfair to the child or one of the parents. The court must note the reason for not using the guidelines.

More Information on Court Orders for Child Support


Updated May 02, 2013

The Department of Children and Families, protecting children, strengthening families, building communities.