2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
March 22, 2019 - Introduced by
Joint Legislative Council. Referred to Committee
on Family Law.
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
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
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
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
• 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.
Chapter DCF 150 (title) of the administrative code is amended to 2
Chapter dcf 150
child support percentage of
DCF 150.02 (9m) of the administrative code is created to read:
DCF 150.02 (9m)
“Designated percentage” means the applicable percentage 8
of a parent's monthly income available for child support or adjusted monthly income 9
available for child support under s. DCF 150.035 (2) or 150.04 (4) or (5).
DCF 150.02 (19) of the administrative code is amended to read:
DCF 150.02 (19)
“Low-income payer" means a payer for whom the court uses 12
the monthly support amount provided in the schedule in Appendix C based on the 13
court's determination that the payer's total economic circumstances limit his or her 14
ability to pay support at the level provided under s. DCF 150.03 (1) 150.035
and the 15
payer's income available for child support is at a level set forth in the schedule in 16
DCF 150.02 (26) of the administrative code is amended to read:
DCF 150.02 (26)
“Shared-placement payer" means the shared-placement 3
parent who is determined to owe a greater support amount than the other parent 4
under the calculation in s. DCF 150.04 (2) (b)
DCF 150.02 (28) of the administrative code is repealed.
DCF 150.02 (28) Note of the administrative code is renumbered 7
DCF 150.02 (9m) Note.
DCF 150.03 (1) (intro) of the administrative code is renumbered 9
DCF 150.03 (1) and amended to read:
DCF 150.03 (1)
income available for child support using the
The court shall determine a parent's monthly income 12
available for child support by adding together the parent's annual gross income or, 13
if applicable, the parent's annual income modified for business expenses; the parent's 14
annual income imputed based on earning capacity; and the parent's annual income 15
imputed from assets, and dividing that total by 12. This may be done by completing 16
the worksheet in Appendix B, although use of the worksheet for this purpose is not 17
required. 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:
DCF 150.03 (1) (a) to (e) of the administrative code are renumbered 21
DCF 150.035 (2)
(a) to (e).
DCF 150.03 (1) (e) Note of the administrative code is renumbered 23
DCF 150.035 (2) (e) Note.
DCF 150.03 (5) (a) of the administrative code is amended to read:
DCF 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 3
under 42 USC 401
and adjust a payer's child support obligation by subtracting 4
the amount of the child's benefit received by the payee. In no case may this 5
adjustment require the payee to reimburse the payer for any portion of the child's 6
benefit. If the payer is receiving the child's benefit, the support amount is either the 7designated
applied to the payer's income or the amount of the 8
child's benefit, whichever is greater.
DCF 150.03 (5) (b) (intro.), 2. and 7. of the administrative code are 10
amended to read:
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 13
proportion to the amount of time the child spends with each parent. Add the 14
proportion of the child's benefit that represents the proportion of time the child 15
spends with the parent not receiving the benefit to the support obligation of the 16
parent who is receiving the child's benefit. Support shall be determined as follows:
2. Multiply each parent's monthly income available for child support by the 18appropriate designated
percentage standard under s. DCF 150.03 (1)
7. Offset the resulting amounts against each other. The parent with the greater 20
child support obligation is the shared-placement payer. The shared-placement 21
payer shall pay either the greater of the amount determined in this subsection or the 22
amount determined using the appropriate designated
percentage standard under s.
23DCF 150.03 (1)
DCF 150.03 (5m) (intro.), (a), (b) and (g) of the administrative code 25
are amended to read:
DCF 150.03 (5m)
(intro.) Adjustment for adoption assistance
. The court may 2
consider adoption assistance received by either parent under s. 48.975 (3) (a), Stats. 3
If the shared placement guidelines under s. DCF 150.04 (2) 150.035 (1)
apply, the 4
adoption assistance should be split between the parents in proportion to the amount 5
of time the child spends with each parent. Add the proportion of the adoption 6
assistance that represents the proportion of time the child spends with the parent 7
not receiving the adoption assistance to the support obligation of the parent who is 8
receiving the adoption assistance. Support shall be determined as follows:
(a) Determine each parent's monthly income available for child support under 10
s. DCF 150.03 (1) (intro.)
. If a parent has one or more previous child support 11
obligations, determine the parent's monthly income available for child support 12
adjusted for the previous obligations as provided in s. DCF 150.04 (1). Do not include 13
the adoption assistance under s. 48.975 (3) (a), Stats., in either parent's income.
(b) Multiply each parent's monthly income available for child support by the 15appropriate designated
percentage standard under s. DCF 150.03 (1)
(g) Offset the resulting amounts against each other. The parent with the 17
greater child support obligation is the shared-placement payer. The 18
shared-placement payer shall pay the lesser of the amount determined in this 19
subsection or the amount determined using the appropriate designated
percentage 20standard under s. DCF 150.03 (1)
DCF 150.03 (7) of the administrative code is amended to read:
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 24
amount determined shall be increased by the amount necessary to provide a net
family support payment, after state and federal income taxes are paid, of at least the 2
amount of a child support payment under the standard.
DCF 150.03 (11) of the administrative code is renumbered DCF 4
150.035 (3) and amended to read:
DCF 150.035 (3) Deviation from the percentage standard.
(a) Upon request 6
by a party, the court may modify the amount of child support payments determined 7
under sub. (1) (2)
if, after considering the factors in s. 767.511 (1m), Stats., as 8
applicable, the court finds by the greater weight of the credible evidence that use of 9
is unfair to the child or to any of the parties.
(b) If the court under par. (a) modifies the amount of child support payment 11
determined under sub. (1) (2)
, the court shall state in writing or on the record the 12
amount 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 14
amount, its reasons for finding that use of the designated
unfair to the child or the party, its reasons for the amount of the modification and the 16
basis for the modification as provided under s. 767.511 (1n), Stats.
DCF 150.035 (title) and (2) of the administrative code are created 18