Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

Disclaimer

 

 

Repaying Birth Costs

baby-in-hospital.jpg

Notice: The administrative code Chapter DCF 150 Child Support Percentage of Income Standard was amended effective July 1, 2018. BCS is in the process of updating information on this site to conform to those changes.

Sometimes the court will order the father to pay all or part of the mother's pregnancy costs and the child's birth costs. When single, separated, and divorced parents apply for the BadgerCare Plus program,
some of these parents are referred to the Wisconsin Child Support program for services.

  • If the parents are not married when the mother applies for BadgerCare Plus and the mother is referred to child support, the court may order the father to repay birth costs.
  • If the family is not referred to the child support program, the father will not have to repay birth costs to the BadgerCare Plus program.

If the family is referred to the Child Support program, an unmarried father might not have to repay birth costs if:

  • The couple already has an older child together, and
  • The couple told the BadgerCare Plus agency that the father was living in the home before their new baby was born. In this case the father's income was included in the family income when applying for benefits.

Guidelines for Setting Birth Cost Repayment Amounts

Under federal rules, child support agencies will ask the court to set the repayment amount to:

  1. Five Percent (5%) of the father's monthly income over a 36 month period (3 years). (For low-income payers the amount may be less than 5% of income.)
  2. Half the regional average amount for birth costs.
  3. An amount between half the actual birth costs and the full regional amount.

Examples of How Birth Cost is Calculated

  • The father's monthly income is $1,500
  • The income for 36 months is $54,000
  • 5% of the father's income over 36 months is $2,700 ($54,000 x 0.05)
  • Half the average regional cost is $2,900

The child support agency would ask the court to set the birth costs at $2,700 (the lowest amount)

  • The father's monthly income is $2,000
  • The income for 36 months is $72,000
  • 5% of the father's income over 36 months is $3,600 ($72,000 x 0.05)
  • Half the actual birth cost is $4,000
  • The average regional cost is $3,500

The child support agency would ask the court to set the birth costs at $3,500 (the lowest amount)


Low-income payers

If the court used the low-income payer table under the percentage guidelines to set the amount of child support, the child support agency will ask the court to use a rate lower than 5% of the father's income.