2021 - 2022 LEGISLATURE
February 11, 2021 - Introduced by Senators Jacque and Ballweg, cosponsored by
Representatives Brooks, Brandtjen, Bowen, Dittrich, Gundrum, Moses,
Mursau, Skowronski, Tusler and Wichgers. Referred to Committee on
Human Services, Children and Families.
1An Act to repeal
767.225 (1) (e); and to amend
565.30 (5m) (a), 767.34 (1), 2
767.35 (1) (c), 767.511 (6m), 767.531 (intro.), 767.54, 767.553 (1) (a), 767.59 (1), 3
767.61 (3) (i), 767.71 (1) (a), 767.73 (1) (a), 767.75 (1) (b), 767.77 (1) and 767.78 4
(1) of the statutes; relating to: calculating the child support obligation and
5elimination of family support.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill reorganizes certain aspects of the Department of Children and
Families administrative rules relating to commonly used child support formulas in
order to reflect current practices. The manner of calculating the amount of child
support and the applicable formulas are not changed in the bill. The bill also makes
statutory changes to eliminate future family support orders.
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 the DCF 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.
The bill retitles the applicable DCF administrative code chapter from “Child
Support Percentage of Income Standard” to “Child Support Standard.” The bill also
removes the definition of the term “standard” or “percentage standard” from DCF's
rules and moves a Note appended to the definition of “standard” in the DCF 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.
The bill 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.”
The bill also updates cross-references within the DCF rules to reflect the
reorganization of the shared physical placement and designated percentage
In addition to the administrative code changes, the bill also changes the
statutes to eliminate family support orders, providing that no new family support
orders may be issued beginning on the bill's effective date. Family support orders
issued before the bill's effective date would remain in effect and be subject to all
provisions in current law that apply to family support orders, including provisions
relating to calculating interest and the duties of DCF regarding application of
Under current law, family support is an alternative that combines the
component parts of child support and maintenance in a single obligation, and is
based upon the same criteria that apply to orders for child support and maintenance.
Family support payments are treated as maintenance payments for federal and state
tax purposes, so that the family support payment amount is deductible to the
payor-spouse, and taxable to the recipient-spouse. However, under s. 11051 of the
federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, maintenance payments are no longer
deductible by the payor-spouse and are not included in income to the
recipient-spouse. This change applies to any divorce or separation instrument
executed after December 31, 2018. Divorce and separation instruments modified
after the December 31, 2018, effective date are subject to prior law unless the
modification expressly provides that the modified agreement be governed by the new
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
565.30 (5m) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) The administrator shall report to the department of children 2
and families the name, address, and social security number of each winner of a 3
lottery prize that is payable in installments and the name, address, and social 4
security number or federal income tax number of the person who has been assigned 5
a lottery prize that is payable in installments. Upon receipt of the report, the 6
department of children and families shall certify to the administrator whether any 7
payee or assignee named in the report is obligated to provide child support, spousal 8
support, maintenance, or family support under s. 767.531, 2019 stats., or
s. 767.001 9
(1) (f) or (g), 767.225, 767.34, 767.511, 767.531,
767.56, 767.804 (3), 767.805 (4), 10
767.85, 767.863 (3), 767.89 (3), 767.893 (2m), or 948.22 (7) or ch. 769 and the amount 11
required to be withheld from the lottery prize under s. 767.75. Subject to par. (b), the 12
administrator shall withhold the certified amount from each payment made to the 13
winner or assignee and remit the certified amount to the department of children and 14
767.225 (1) (e) of the statutes is repealed.
767.34 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
767.34 (1) Authority.
The parties in an action for an annulment, divorce, or 18
legal separation may, subject to the approval of the court, stipulate for a division of 19
property, for maintenance payments, for the support of children,
for periodic family
20support payments under s. 767.531,
or for legal custody and physical placement, in 21
case a divorce or legal separation is granted or a marriage annulled.
767.35 (1) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
(c) To the extent that it has jurisdiction to do so, the court has 24
considered and approved or made provision for legal custody and physical placement,
the support of any child of the marriage entitled to support, the maintenance of either 2
spouse, the support of the family under s. 767.531,
and the disposition of property.
767.511 (6m) of the statutes is amended to read:
767.511 (6m) Pilot program on interest rate.
The department may conduct 5
a pilot program under which the interest that accrues on the amounts in arrears 6
specified in sub. (6) and in
s. 767.531, 2019 stats., and in sub. (6)
shall be at the rate 7
of 0.5 percent per month instead of 1 percent per month. If the department conducts 8
a pilot program under this subsection, the program may begin at any time after 9
December 31, 2013, and the new rate shall apply to interest that accrues during that 10
767.531 (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
12767.531 Family support.
The court may make a financial order
13designated “family support" as a substitute for child support orders under s. 767.511
14and maintenance payment orders under s. 767.56.
Subject to s. 767.511 (6m), a party 15
ordered to pay family support under this section, 2019 stats.,
shall pay simple 16
interest at the rate of 1 percent per month on any amount in arrears that is equal to 17
or greater than the amount of child support due in one month. Subject to s. 767.511 18
(6m), if the party no longer has a current obligation to pay child support, interest at 19
the rate of 1 percent per month shall accrue on the total amount of child support in 20
arrears, if any. Interest under this section is in lieu of interest computed under s. 21
807.01 (4), 814.04 (4), or 815.05 (8) and is paid to the department or its designee 22
under s. 767.57. Except as provided in s. 767.57 (1m), the department or its designee 23
shall apply all payments received for family support ordered under this section, 2019
767.54 of the statutes is amended to read:
1767.54 Required exchange of financial information.
In an action in 2
which the court has ordered a party to pay child or
family support under s. 767.225,
32019 stats., or s.767.531, 2019 stats., or child support under
this chapter, including 4
an action to revise a judgment or order under s. 767.59, the court shall require the 5
parties annually to exchange financial information. Information disclosed under 6
this section is subject to s. 767.127 (3). A party who fails to furnish information 7
required by the court under this section may be proceeded against for contempt of 8
court under ch. 785. If the court finds that a party has failed to furnish information 9
required under this section, the court may award to the party bringing the action 10
costs and, notwithstanding s. 814.04 (1), reasonable attorney fees.
767.553 (1) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) An order for child or family
support under this chapter may 13
provide for an annual adjustment in the amount to be paid based on a change in the 14
payer's income if the amount of child or family
support is expressed in the order as 15
a fixed sum and based on the percentage standard established by the department 16
under s. 49.22 (9). No adjustment may be made under this section unless the order 17
provides for the adjustment.
767.59 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
767.59 (1) Definition.
In this section, “support or maintenance order" means 20
a judgment or order providing for child support under this chapter or s. 48.355 (2) 21
(b) 4. or (4g) (a), 48.357 (5m) (a), 48.363 (2), 938.183 (4), 938.355 (2) (b) 4. or (4g) (a), 22
938.357 (5m) (a), 938.363 (2), or 948.22 (7), for maintenance payments under s. 23
767.56, for family support payments under this chapter s. 767.531, 2019 stats.
, or for 24
the appointment of trustees or receivers under s. 767.57 (5).
767.61 (3) (i) of the statutes is amended to read:
(i) The amount and duration of an order under s. 767.56 granting 2
maintenance payments to either party, any order for periodic family support 3
payments under s. 767.531, 2019 stats.,
and whether the property division is in lieu 4
of such payments.
767.71 (1) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) In this section, “support order" means an order for child support 7
under this chapter or s. 948.22 (7), an order for family support under this chapter, 82019 stats.,
or a stipulation approved by the court for child support under this 9
767.73 (1) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) In this subsection, “support payment" means a payment ordered 12
for support under s. 767.521, support under s. 767.501, child support or family 13
support under s. 767.225, family support under s. 767.531, 2019 stats.,
revised child 14
or family support under s. 767.59, or child support under s. 767.511, 767.804 (3), 15
767.805 (4), 767.85, 767.863 (3), 767.89, or 948.22 (7) or ch. 769.
767.75 (1) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) “Payment order" means an order for child support under this 18
chapter, for maintenance payments under s. 767.225 or 767.56, for family support 19
under this chapter, 2019 stats.,
for costs ordered under s. 767.804 (3), 767.805 (4), or 20
767.89 (3), for support by a spouse under s. 767.001 (1) (f), or for maintenance 21
payments under s. 767.001 (1) (g); an order for or obligation to pay the annual 22
receiving and disbursing fee under s. 767.57 (1e) (a); an order for a revision in a 23
judgment or order with respect to child support, maintenance, or family support 24
payments under s. 767.59; a stipulation approved by the court for child support
under this chapter; and an order for child or spousal support entered under s. 948.22 2
767.77 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
767.77 (1) Definition.
In this section, “payment obligation" means an 5
obligation to pay support under s. 48.355 (2) (b) 4. or (4g) (a), 48.357 (5m) (a), 48.363 6
(2), 938.183 (4), 938.355 (2) (b) 4. or (4g) (a), 938.357 (5m) (a), or 938.363 (2), support 7
or maintenance under s. 767.501, child support, family support,
or maintenance 8
under s. 767.225, child support under s. 767.511, maintenance under s. 767.56, 9
family support under s. 767.225, 2019 stats., or s.
767.531, 2019 stats.,
attorney fees 10
under s. 767.241, child support or a child's health care expenses under s. 767.85, 11
paternity obligations under s. 767.804 (3), 767.805 (4), 767.863 (3), or 767.89, support 12
arrearages under s. 767.71, or child or spousal support under s. 948.22 (7).
767.78 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
767.78 (1) Definition.
In this section, “financial obligation" means an 15
obligation for payment incurred under s. 767.531, 2019 stats., or
s. 48.355 (2) (b) 4. 16
or (4g) (a), 48.357 (5m) (a), 48.363 (2), 767.225, 767.241, 767.511,
767.61, 767.71, 767.804 (3), 767.805 (4), 767.85, 767.863 (3), 767.89, 938.183 (4), 18
938.355 (2) (b) 4. or (4g) (a), 938.357 (5m) (a), or 938.363 (2).
Chapter DCF 150 (title) of the administrative code is amended to 20
Chapter dcf 150
child support percentage of
DCF 150.02 (9m) of the administrative code is created to read: