767.531(2) (2)Second, to payment of unpaid family support due before the payment is received.
767.531(3) (3)Third, to payment of interest accruing on unpaid family support.
767.531 History History: 1977 c. 105; 1979 c. 32 ss. 50, 92 (4); Stats. 1979 s. 767.261; 1983 a. 27; 1985 a. 29; 1993 a. 481; 1995 a. 279; 1997 a. 27, 191; 1999 a. 9, 32; 2005 a. 443 s. 111; Stats. 2005 s. 767.531; 2013 a. 20.
767.531 Annotation This section does not limit the authority a trial court would otherwise have to consider imposing interest on unpaid maintenance arrears. Cashin v. Cashin, 2004 WI App 92, 273 Wis. 2d 754, 681 N.W.2d 255, 03-1010.
767.531 Annotation The circuit court must separately calculate child support and maintenance as a condition precedent to calculating family support. If the court applies the percentage guidelines when setting child support, it must set family support at an amount that results in a net payment, after state and federal taxes are paid, of no less than the child support as calculated under the guidelines. Even if a court makes detailed findings as to all of the factors for family support, the court erroneously exercises its discretion if it neglects to provide a rational explanation of how its findings lead to the support award. Vlies v. Brookman, 2005 WI App 158, 285 Wis. 2d 411, 701 N.W.2d 642, 04-0315.
767.531 Annotation It is evident from the statutory framework and the purpose of family support that at least a portion of family support ordered in any case involving minor children is child support. With respect to child support, any provision in a marital settlement agreement that purports to limit a child support payee's ability to seek a support modification upon a substantial change in circumstances is against public policy and cannot provide a basis to estop the payee from seeking a modification. Huhn v. Stuckmann, 2009 WI App 127, 321 Wis. 2d 169, 772 N.W.2d 744, 08-3102.
767.54 767.54 Required exchange of financial information. In an action in which the court has ordered a party to pay child or family support under this chapter, including an action to revise a judgment or order under s. 767.59, the court shall require the parties annually to exchange financial information. Information disclosed under this section is subject to s. 767.127 (3). A party who fails to furnish information required by the court under this section may be proceeded against for contempt of court under ch. 785. If the court finds that a party has failed to furnish information required under this section, the court may award to the party bringing the action costs and, notwithstanding s. 814.04 (1), reasonable attorney fees.
767.54 History History: 2005 a. 443 s. 122.
767.54 Note NOTE: 2005 Wis. Act 443 contains explanatory notes.
767.55 767.55 Child support: employment-related orders.
767.55(1)(1)Generally. In an action for modification of a child support order under s. 767.59 or an action in which an order for child support is required under s. 767.511 (1), 767.805 (4), or 767.89 (3), the court may order either or both parents of the child to seek employment or participate in an employment or training program.
767.55(2) (2)Noncustodial parent.
767.55(2)(a) (a) In this subsection, “custodial parent" means a parent who lives with his or her child for substantial periods of time.
767.55(2)(am) (am) In an action for modification of a child support order under s. 767.59, an action in which an order for child support is required under s. 767.511 (1), 767.805 (4), or 767.89 (3), or a contempt of court proceeding to enforce a child support or family support order in a county that contracts under s. 49.36 (2), the court may order a parent who is not a custodial parent to register for a work experience and job training program under s. 49.36 if all of the following conditions are met:
767.55(2)(am)1. 1. The parent is able to work full time.
767.55(2)(am)1m. 1m. The parent resides in a county, or resides within a reasonable driving distance, as determined by the court, from a county, that has a work experience and job training program under s. 49.36 and that agrees to enroll the parent in the program.
767.55(2)(am)2. 2. The parent works, on average, less than 32 hours per week, and is not participating in an employment or training program which meets guidelines established by the department.
767.55(2)(am)3. 3. The parent's actual weekly gross income averages less than 40 times the federal minimum hourly wage under 29 USC 206 (a) (1) or the parent is earning less than the parent has the ability to earn, as determined by the court.
767.55(2)(b) (b) Under this subsection, the parent is presumed to be able to work full time. The parent has the burden of proving that he or she is not able to work full time.
767.55(2)(c) (c) If the court enters an order under par. (am), it shall order the parent to pay child support equal to the amount determined by applying the percentage standard established under s. 49.22 (9) or equal to the amount of child support that the parent was ordered to pay in the most recent determination of support under this chapter. The child support obligation ordered under this paragraph continues until the parent makes timely payment in full for 3 consecutive months or until the person participates in the program under s. 49.36 for 16 weeks, whichever occurs first. The court shall provide in its order that the parent shall make child support payments calculated under s. 767.511 (1j) or (1m) after the obligation to make payments ordered under this paragraph ceases.
767.55(3) (3)Absent parent.
767.55(3)(a) (a) In this subsection, “case involving a dependent child" means an action which meets all of the following criteria:
767.55(3)(a)1. 1. Is an action for modification of a child support order under s. 767.59 or an action in which an order for child support is required under s. 767.511 (1), 767.805 (4), or 767.89 (3).
767.55(3)(a)2. 2. The child's right to support is assigned to the state under s. 48.57 (3m) (b) 2. or (3n) (b) 2., 48.645 (3), or 49.19 (4) (h) 1. b.
767.55(3)(a)3. 3. The child has been deprived of parental support by reason of the continued absence of a parent from the home.
767.55(3)(b) (b) Except as provided in par. (c), in a case involving a dependent child, if the child's parent who is absent from the home is not employed, the court shall order that parent to do one or more of the following:
767.55(3)(b)1. 1. Register for work at a public employment office established under s. 106.09.
767.55(3)(b)2. 2. Apply for jobs.
767.55(3)(b)3. 3. Participate in a job training program.
767.55(3)(c) (c) An order is not required under par. (b) if the court makes written findings that there is good cause for not issuing the order.
767.55(3)(d) (d) Paragraph (b) does not limit the authority of a court to issue an order, other than an order under par. (b), regarding employment of a parent in an action for modification of a child support order under s. 767.59 or an action in which an order for child support is required under s. 767.511 (1), 767.805 (4), or 767.89 (3).
767.55(4) (4)Unemployed teenage parent.
767.55(4)(a) (a) In this subsection, “unemployed teenage parent" means a parent who satisfies all of the following criteria:
767.55(4)(a)1. 1. Is less than 20 years of age.
767.55(4)(a)2. 2. Is unemployed.
767.55(4)(a)3. 3. Is financially unable to pay child support.
767.55(4)(a)4. 4. Would be ordered to make payments for the support of a child but for subd. 3.
767.55(4)(b) (b) In an action for revision of a judgment or order providing for child support under s. 767.59 or an action in which an order for child support is required under s. 767.511 (1), 767.805 (4), or 767.89 (3), the court shall order an unemployed teenage parent to do one or more of the following:
767.55(4)(b)1. 1. Register for work at a public employment office established under s. 106.09.
767.55(4)(b)2. 2. Apply for jobs.
767.55(4)(b)3. 3. Participate in a job training program.
767.55(4)(b)4. 4. Pursue or continue to pursue an accredited course of instruction leading to the acquisition of a high school diploma or its equivalent if the unemployed teenage parent has not completed a recognized high school course of study or its equivalent, except that the court may not order the unemployed teenage parent to pursue instruction if the instruction requires the expenditure of funds by the unemployed teenage parent other than normal transportation and personal expenses.
767.55 History History: 2005 a. 443 ss. 40, 41, 107, 108, 135, 136, 223; 2007 a. 20; 2015 a. 331.
767.553 767.553 Annual adjustments in support orders.
767.553(1)(1)When adjustment may be ordered.
767.553(1)(a) (a) An order for child or family support under this chapter may provide for an annual adjustment in the amount to be paid based on a change in the payer's income if the amount of child or family support is expressed in the order as a fixed sum and based on the percentage standard established by the department under s. 49.22 (9). No adjustment may be made under this section unless the order provides for the adjustment.
767.553(1)(b) (b) An adjustment under this section may not be made more than once in a year and shall be determined on the basis of the percentage standard established by the department under s. 49.22 (9).
767.553(1)(c) (c) In the order the court shall specify what information the parties must exchange to determine whether the payer's income has changed, and shall specify the manner and timing of the information exchange.
767.553(2) (2)Form for stipulating. If the court provides for an annual adjustment, the court shall make available to the parties, including the state if the state is a real party in interest under s. 767.205 (2) (a), a form approved by the court for the parties to use in stipulating to an adjustment of the amount of child or family support and to modification of any applicable income-withholding order. The form shall include an order, to be signed by the court, for approval of the stipulation of the parties.
767.553(3) (3)Income changes.
767.553(3)(a) (a) If the payer's income changes from the amount found by the court or stipulated to by the parties for the current child or family support order, the parties may implement an adjustment under this section by stipulating, on the form under sub. (2), to the changed income amount and the adjusted child or family support amount, subject to sub. (1) (b).
767.553(3)(b) (b) The stipulation form shall be signed by all parties, including the state if the state is a real party in interest under s. 767.205 (2) (a), and filed with the court. If the stipulation is approved, the order shall be signed by the court and implemented in the same manner as an order for a revision under s. 767.59. An adjustment under this subsection is effective as of the date on which the order is signed by the court.
767.553(4) (4)Implementation; when effective.
767.553(4)(a) (a) Any party, including the state if the state is a real party in interest under s. 767.205 (2) (a), may file a motion, petition, or order to show cause for implementation of an annual adjustment under this section if any of the following applies:
767.553(4)(a)1. 1. A party refuses to provide the information required by the court under sub. (1) (c).
767.553(4)(a)2. 2. The payer's income changes, but a party refuses to sign the stipulation for an adjustment in the amount of child or family support.
767.553(4)(b) (b) If the court determines after a hearing that an adjustment should be made, the court shall enter an order adjusting the child or family support payments by the amount determined by the court, subject to sub. (1) (b). An adjustment under this subsection may not take effect before the date on which the party responding to the motion, petition, or order to show cause received notice of the action under this subsection.
767.553(4)(c) (c) Notwithstanding par. (b), the court may direct that all or part of the adjustment not take effect until such time as the court directs, if any of the following applies:
767.553(4)(c)1. 1. The payee was seeking an adjustment and the payer establishes that extraordinary circumstances beyond his or her control prevent fulfillment of the adjusted child or family support obligation.
767.553(4)(c)2. 2. The payer was seeking an adjustment and the payee establishes that the payer voluntarily and unreasonably reduced his or her income below his or her earning capacity.
767.553(4)(c)3. 3. The payer was seeking an adjustment and the payee establishes that the adjustment would be unfair to the child.
767.553(4)(d) (d) If in an action under this subsection the court determines that a party has unreasonably failed to provide the information required under sub. (1) (c) or to provide the information on a timely basis, or unreasonably failed or refused to sign a stipulation for an annual adjustment, the court may award to the aggrieved party actual costs, including service costs, any costs attributable to time missed from employment, the cost of travel to and from court, and reasonable attorney fees.
767.553(5) (5)Revision or remedial sanctions.
767.553(5)(a) (a) Nothing in this section affects a party's right to file at any time a motion, petition, or order to show cause under s. 767.59 for revision of a judgment or order with respect to an amount of child or family support.
767.553(5)(b) (b) Nothing in this section affects a party's right to move the court for a finding of contempt of court or for remedial sanctions under ch. 785 if the other party unreasonably fails to provide or disclose information required under this section or unreasonably fails or refuses to sign a stipulation for an annual adjustment.
767.553 History History: 1981 c. 20; 1983 a. 27; 1993 a. 481; 1995 a. 27 s. 9126 (19); 1995 a. 404; 1997 a. 27; 2001 a. 16, 61, 105; 2005 a. 443 ss. 167, 224; Stats. 2005 s. 767.553.
767.56 767.56 Maintenance.
767.56(1c)(1c)Factors to consider for granting. Upon a judgment of annulment, divorce, or legal separation, or in rendering a judgment in an action under s. 767.001 (1) (g) or (j), the court may grant an order requiring maintenance payments to either party for a limited or indefinite length of time, subject to sub. (2c), after considering all of the following:
767.56(1c)(a) (a) The length of the marriage.
767.56(1c)(b) (b) The age and physical and emotional health of the parties.
767.56(1c)(c) (c) The division of property made under s. 767.61.
767.56(1c)(d) (d) The educational level of each party at the time of marriage and at the time the action is commenced.
767.56(1c)(e) (e) The earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, custodial responsibilities for children and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to find appropriate employment.
767.56(1c)(f) (f) The feasibility that the party seeking maintenance can become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage, and, if so, the length of time necessary to achieve this goal.
767.56(1c)(g) (g) The tax consequences to each party.
767.56(1c)(h) (h) Any mutual agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage, according to the terms of which one party has made financial or service contributions to the other with the expectation of reciprocation or other compensation in the future, if the repayment has not been made, or any mutual agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage concerning any arrangement for the financial support of the parties.
767.56(1c)(i) (i) The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other.
767.56(1c)(j) (j) Such other factors as the court may in each individual case determine to be relevant.
767.56(2c) (2c)Terminates at death of payee or payer. Unless already terminated for another reason, maintenance granted under this section terminates upon the death of the payee or the payer, whichever occurs first.
767.56 History History: 1971 c. 220; 1973 c. 12 s. 37; 1977 c. 105; 1979 c. 32 ss. 50, 92 (4); 1979 c. 196; Stats. 1979 s. 767.26; 2005 a. 443 s. 110; Stats. 2005 s. 767.56; 2013 a. 209.
767.56 Annotation While arrearages under a temporary order for alimony and attorney fees and costs that the husband is required to pay do not constitute part of a wife's division of the estate, they are a charge against the entire estate. Tesch v. Tesch, 63 Wis. 2d 320, 217 N.W.2d 647 (1974).
767.56 Annotation An obligation to support children is a factor in determining the amount of maintenance payments. Besaw v. Besaw, 89 Wis. 2d 509, 279 N.W.2d 192 (1979).
767.56 Annotation The trial court abused its discretion by denying a mother's choice to remain at home to care for small children. Hartung v. Hartung, 102 Wis. 2d 58, 306 N.W.2d 16 (1981).
767.56 Annotation The trial court abused its discretion by terminating maintenance without sufficiently addressing the factors under this section. Vander Perren v. Vander Perren, 105 Wis. 2d 219, 313 N.W.2d 813 (1982).
767.56 Annotation Compensation for a person who supports a spouse while the spouse is in school can be achieved through both property division and maintenance payments. Lundberg v. Lundberg, 107 Wis. 2d 1, 318 N.W.2d 918 (1982).
767.56 Annotation The trial court may begin its maintenance evaluation with the proposition that the dependent partner may be entitled to 50 percent of the total earnings of both parties. Bahr v. Bahr, 107 Wis. 2d 72, 318 N.W.2d 391 (1982).
767.56 Annotation The trial court may not consider marital misconduct as a relevant factor in granting maintenance payments. Dixon v. Dixon, 107 Wis. 2d 492, 319 N.W.2d 846 (1982).
767.56 Annotation It was improper to discontinue maintenance payments to a former wife solely upon the ground of her cohabitation with another man. Van Gorder v. Van Gorder, 110 Wis. 2d 188, 327 N.W.2d 674 (1983).
767.56 Annotation Three formulas were approved for calculating maintenance or property division awards in cases in which one spouse has contributed to the other's pursuit of an advanced degree. Haugan v. Haugan, 117 Wis. 2d 200, 343 N.W.2d 796 (1984).
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 20 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on November 11, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after November 11, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 11-11-19)