LRB-0707/1
EAW:kjf
2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
March 22, 2019 - Introduced by Joint Legislative Council. Referred to Committee
on Family Law.
AB96,1,1 1An Act relating to: calculating the child support obligation.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill is explained in the Notes provided by the Joint Legislative Council in
the bill.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
Joint Legislative Council prefatory note: This bill was prepared for the Joint
Legislative Council's Study Committee on Child Placement and Support. To reflect
current practices, the bill reorganizes certain aspects of the Department of Children and
Families administrative rules relating to commonly used child support formulas. The
manner of calculating the amount of child support and the applicable formulas are not
changed in the bill.
Under current DCF rules, the child support formula that applies in a shared
physical placement arrangement is included among the formula for “special
circumstances.”
The bill moves the formula that applies in a shared physical placement
arrangement to a new section of DCF's rules before all of the child support formula
variations. The bill also specifies that, under DCF rules, the designated percentage that
applies in a nonshared physical placement arrangement applies only if the conditions for
the shared placement formula do not apply.
The bill creates a new defined term under DCF's rules for a “designated
percentage,” to mean the applicable percentage of a parent's monthly income, or adjusted

monthly income, that is available for child support. The “designated percentage” phrase
is then used within the calculations for a shared-placement arrangement and
circumstances of a serial-family parent, split-placement parents, and combinations of
special circumstances.
In addition, the bill does all of the following:
Retitles the applicable DCF administrative code chapter from “Child Support
Percentage of Income Standard” to “Child Support Standard.”
Removes the definition of the term “standard” or “percentage standard” from
DCF's rules.
Moves a Note appended to the definition of “standard” in DCF's rules to the new
definition of the “designated percentage.” The Note specifies that the standard is based
on national studies and is adjusted downward to reflect costs incurred by a parent when
a child is in the parent's care and costs to maintain a child's health insurance.
Moves the listing of the designated percentage amounts, and the standard that
applies to a request for a deviation from the percentage standard, to be placed with and
follow the shared physical placement arrangement formula under DCF's rules. The new
section is titled, “Determining the child support obligation.”
Updates cross-references within DCF's rules to reflect the reorganization of the
shared physical placement and designated percentage provisions.
AB96,1 1Section 1. Chapter DCF 150 (title) of the administrative code is amended to
2read:
AB96,2,33 Chapter dcf 150
AB96,2,44 child support percentage of
AB96,2,5 5income standard
AB96,2 6Section 2. DCF 150.02 (9m) of the administrative code is created to read:
AB96,2,97 DCF 150.02 (9m) “Designated percentage” means the applicable percentage
8of a parent's monthly income available for child support or adjusted monthly income
9available for child support under s. DCF 150.035 (2) or 150.04 (4) or (5).
AB96,3 10Section 3. DCF 150.02 (19) of the administrative code is amended to read:
AB96,2,1611 DCF 150.02 (19) “Low-income payer" means a payer for whom the court uses
12the monthly support amount provided in the schedule in Appendix C based on the
13court's determination that the payer's total economic circumstances limit his or her
14ability to pay support at the level provided under s. DCF 150.03 (1) 150.035 and the
15payer's income available for child support is at a level set forth in the schedule in
16Appendix C.
AB96,4
1Section 4. DCF 150.02 (26) of the administrative code is amended to read:
AB96,3,42 DCF 150.02 (26) “Shared-placement payer" means the shared-placement
3parent who is determined to owe a greater support amount than the other parent
4under the calculation in s. DCF 150.04 (2) (b) 150.035 (1).
AB96,5 5Section 5. DCF 150.02 (28) of the administrative code is repealed.
AB96,6 6Section 6. DCF 150.02 (28) Note of the administrative code is renumbered
7DCF 150.02 (9m) Note.
AB96,7 8Section 7. DCF 150.03 (1) (intro) of the administrative code is renumbered
9DCF 150.03 (1) and amended to read:
AB96,3,1910 DCF 150.03 (1) Determining income available for child support using the
11percentage standard
. The court shall determine a parent's monthly income
12available for child support by adding together the parent's annual gross income or,
13if applicable, the parent's annual income modified for business expenses; the parent's
14annual income imputed based on earning capacity; and the parent's annual income
15imputed from assets, and dividing that total by 12. This may be done by completing
16the worksheet in Appendix B, although use of the worksheet for this purpose is not
17required. Except as provided in s. DCF 150.04 (4) and (5), the percentage of the
18parent's monthly income available for child support or adjusted monthly income
19available for child support that constitutes the child support obligation shall be:
AB96,8 20Section 8. DCF 150.03 (1) (a) to (e) of the administrative code are renumbered
21DCF 150.035 (2) (a) to (e).
AB96,9 22Section 9. DCF 150.03 (1) (e) Note of the administrative code is renumbered
23DCF 150.035 (2) (e) Note.
AB96,10 24Section 10. DCF 150.03 (5) (a) of the administrative code is amended to read:
AB96,4,8
1DCF 150.03 (5) (a) The court may consider a child's benefit under 42 USC 402
2(d) based on a parent's entitlement to federal disability or old-age insurance benefits
3under 42 USC 401 to 433 and adjust a payer's child support obligation by subtracting
4the amount of the child's benefit received by the payee. In no case may this
5adjustment require the payee to reimburse the payer for any portion of the child's
6benefit. If the payer is receiving the child's benefit, the support amount is either the
7designated percentage standard applied to the payer's income or the amount of the
8child's benefit, whichever is greater.
AB96,11 9Section 11. DCF 150.03 (5) (b) (intro.), 2. and 7. of the administrative code are
10amended to read:
AB96,4,1611 DCF 150.03 (5) (b) (intro.) If the shared-placement guidelines under s. DCF
12150.04 (2) 150.035 (1) apply, the child's benefit is split between the parents in
13proportion to the amount of time the child spends with each parent. Add the
14proportion of the child's benefit that represents the proportion of time the child
15spends with the parent not receiving the benefit to the support obligation of the
16parent who is receiving the child's benefit. Support shall be determined as follows:
AB96,4,1817 2. Multiply each parent's monthly income available for child support by the
18appropriate designated percentage standard under s. DCF 150.03 (1).
AB96,4,2319 7. Offset the resulting amounts against each other. The parent with the greater
20child support obligation is the shared-placement payer. The shared-placement
21payer shall pay either the greater of the amount determined in this subsection or the
22amount determined using the appropriate designated percentage standard under s.
23DCF 150.03 (1)
.
AB96,12 24Section 12. DCF 150.03 (5m) (intro.), (a), (b) and (g) of the administrative code
25are amended to read:
AB96,5,8
1DCF 150.03 (5m) (intro.) Adjustment for adoption assistance. The court may
2consider adoption assistance received by either parent under s. 48.975 (3) (a), Stats.
3If the shared placement guidelines under s. DCF 150.04 (2) 150.035 (1) apply, the
4adoption assistance should be split between the parents in proportion to the amount
5of time the child spends with each parent. Add the proportion of the adoption
6assistance that represents the proportion of time the child spends with the parent
7not receiving the adoption assistance to the support obligation of the parent who is
8receiving the adoption assistance. Support shall be determined as follows:
AB96,5,139 (a) Determine each parent's monthly income available for child support under
10s. DCF 150.03 (1) (intro.). If a parent has one or more previous child support
11obligations, determine the parent's monthly income available for child support
12adjusted for the previous obligations as provided in s. DCF 150.04 (1). Do not include
13the adoption assistance under s. 48.975 (3) (a), Stats., in either parent's income.
AB96,5,1514 (b) Multiply each parent's monthly income available for child support by the
15appropriate designated percentage standard under s. DCF 150.03 (1).
AB96,5,2016 (g) Offset the resulting amounts against each other. The parent with the
17greater child support obligation is the shared-placement payer. The
18shared-placement payer shall pay the lesser of the amount determined in this
19subsection or the amount determined using the appropriate designated percentage
20standard under s. DCF 150.03 (1).
AB96,13 21Section 13. DCF 150.03 (7) of the administrative code is amended to read:
AB96,6,222 DCF 150.03 (7) Calculation of family support. When the standard under sub.
23(1)
designated percentage is used to calculate support under s. 767.531, Stats., the
24amount determined shall be increased by the amount necessary to provide a net

1family support payment, after state and federal income taxes are paid, of at least the
2amount of a child support payment under the standard.
AB96,14 3Section 14. DCF 150.03 (11) of the administrative code is renumbered DCF
4150.035 (3) and amended to read:
AB96,6,95 DCF 150.035 (3) Deviation from the percentage standard. (a) Upon request
6by a party, the court may modify the amount of child support payments determined
7under sub. (1) (2) if, after considering the factors in s. 767.511 (1m), Stats., as
8applicable, the court finds by the greater weight of the credible evidence that use of
9the designated percentage standard is unfair to the child or to any of the parties.
AB96,6,1610 (b) If the court under par. (a) modifies the amount of child support payment
11determined under sub. (1) (2), the court shall state in writing or on the record the
12amount of support that would be required by using the designated percentage
13standard under sub. (1), the amount by which the court's order deviates from that
14amount, its reasons for finding that use of the designated percentage standard is
15unfair to the child or the party, its reasons for the amount of the modification and the
16basis for the modification as provided under s. 767.511 (1n), Stats.
AB96,15 17Section 15. DCF 150.035 (title) and (2) of the administrative code are created
18to read:
AB96,6,19 19DCF 150.035 (title) Determining the child support obligation.
AB96,6,24 20(2) Determining the child support obligation of nonshared placement
21parents.
If the conditions under sub. (1) (a) are not met, the child support obligation
22is one of the following percentages of the parent's monthly income available for child
23support or adjusted monthly income available for child support, except as provided
24under s. DCF 150.04 (4) or (5):
AB96,16
1Section 16. DCF 150.04 (1) (b) 1. and 3. a. and b. of the administrative code
2are amended to read:
AB96,7,43 DCF 150.04 (1) (b) 1. Determine the parent's monthly income available for
4child support under s. DCF 150.03 (1) (intro.).
AB96,7,75 3. a. If the parent is subject to an existing support order for that legal obligation,
6except a shared-placement order under s. DCF 150.04 (2) 150.035 (1), the support
7for that obligation is the monthly amount of that order.
AB96,7,128 b. If the parent is in an intact family or is subject to a shared-placement order
9under s. DCF 150.04 (2) 150.035 (1), the support is determined by multiplying the
10appropriate designated percentage under s. DCF 150.03 (1) for that number of
11children by the parent's monthly income available for child support or, if applicable,
12determine support under sub. (2), (3), (4), or (5) or s. DCF 150.035 (1).
AB96,17 13Section 17. DCF 150.04 (1) (b) 5. a. and b. of the administrative code are
14amended to read:
AB96,7,1715 150.04 (1) (b) 5. a. If the parent is subject to an existing support order for that
16legal obligation, except a shared-placement order under s. DCF 150.04 (2) 150.035
17(1)
, the support for that obligation is the monthly amount of that order.
AB96,7,2218 b. If the parent is in an intact family or is subject to a shared-placement order
19under s. DCF 150.04 (2) 150.035 (1), the support is determined by multiplying the
20appropriate designated percentage under s. DCF 150.03 (1) for that number of
21children by the parent's monthly income available for child support or, if applicable,
22determine support under sub. (2), (3), (4), or (5) or s. DCF 150.035 (1).
AB96,18 23Section 18. DCF 150.04 (1) (b) 8. of the administrative code is amended to read:
AB96,8,724 DCF 150.04 (1) (b) 8. Multiply the appropriate designated percentage under
25s. DCF 150.03 (1)
for the number of children subject to the new order by the final

1adjusted monthly income available for child support determined in either subd. 6. or
27. to determine the new child support obligation or if applicable, determine the new
3child support obligation under sub. (2), (3), (4), or (5) or s. DCF 150.035 (1). If
4multiple child support obligations reduce a serial-family parent's income to a level
5set forth in the schedule in ch. DCF 150 Appendix C, the court may combine the
6provisions of this subsection with the provisions for determining the support
7obligation of a low-income payer under s. DCF 150.04 (4).
AB96,19 8Section 19. DCF 150.04 (2) of the administrative code is renumbered DCF
9150.035 (1), and DCF 150.035 (1) (b) 1., 2. and 5., as renumbered, are amended to
10read:
AB96,8,1911 DCF 150.035 (1) (b) 1. Determine each parent's monthly income available for
12child support under s. DCF 150.03 (1). In determining whether to impute income
13based on earning capacity for an unemployed parent or a parent employed less than
14full time under s. DCF 150.03 (3), the court shall consider benefits to the child of
15having a parent remain in the home during periods of placement and the additional
16variable day care costs that would be incurred if the parent worked more. If a parent
17has one or more previous child support obligations, determine the parent's monthly
18income available for child support adjusted for the previous obligations as provided
19in sub. s. DCF 150.04 (1).
AB96,8,2120 2. Multiply each parent's monthly income available for child support by the
21appropriate designated percentage standard under s. DCF 150.03 (1).
AB96,9,322 5. Offset resulting amounts under subd. 4. against each other. The parent with
23a greater child support obligation is the shared-placement payer. The
24shared-placement payer shall pay the lesser of the amount determined under this
25subd. subdivision or the amount determined using the appropriate designated

1percentage standard under s. DCF 150.03 (1). If the shared-placement payer is also
2a low-income or high-income payer, the court may combine the provisions of either
3sub. s. DCF 150.04 (4) or (5) with the provisions of this section.
AB96,20 4Section 20. DCF 150.04 (3) (b) of the administrative code is amended to read:
AB96,9,125 DCF 150.04 (3) (b) Multiply the amount determined in par. (a) by the pro rata
6percentage standard for the number of children in split placement who are placed
7with the other parent. The pro rata percentage standard for the number of children
8in split placement who are placed with the other parent is calculated by determining
9the appropriate designated percentage standard under s. DCF 150.03 (1) for the total
10number of children, dividing by the total number of children, and adding together the
11percentages for the children in split-placement who are placed with the other
12parent.
AB96,21 13Section 21. DCF 150.04 (4) (a) of the administrative code is amended to read:
AB96,9,2114 DCF 150.04 (4) (a) The court may use the monthly support amount provided
15in the schedule in Appendix C as the support amount for a payer with a monthly
16income available for child support at a level set forth in the schedule if the payer's
17total economic circumstances limit his or her ability to pay support at the level
18determined under s. DCF 150.03 (1) 150.035. If a payer's monthly income available
19for child support is below the lowest income level in Appendix C, the court may set
20an order at an amount appropriate for the payer's total economic circumstances.
21This amount may be lower than the lowest support amount in Appendix C.
AB96,22 22Section 22. DCF 150.04 (5) (b) of the administrative code is amended to read:
AB96,9,2523 DCF 150.04 (5) (b) The court shall apply the percentages in s. DCF 150.03 (1)
24150.035 (2) to a payer's monthly income available for child support that is less than
25$7,000.
AB96,23
1Section 23. DCF 150.04 (6) (b) 1. and 4. of the administrative code are
2amended to read:
AB96,10,83 DCF 150.04 (6) (b) 1. Determine the pro rata percentage standard for the total
4number of children for whom support is being established. The pro rata percentage
5standard for the total number of children for whom support is being established is
6calculated by determining the appropriate designated percentage standard under s.
7DCF 150.03 (1)
for the total number of children and dividing by the total number of
8children.
AB96,10,169 4. Add or offset the child support obligation for children placed with the other
10parent full-time under subd. 2. with the child support obligation for children in
11shared-placement under subd. 3. e. The parent with a greater child support
12obligation is the payer. The payer shall pay the lesser of the amount determined
13under this subdivision or the amount determined using the appropriate designated
14percentage standard under s. DCF 150.03 (1). If the payer under this subdivision is
15also a low-income payer, the child support obligation may be the lesser of the amount
16determined under this subdivision or under sub. (4).
AB96,24 17Section 24. DCF 150.04 (6) (c) 1. b. and 3. of the administrative code are
18amended to read:
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