New Legislation Could Change How Much You Pay in Child Support

By: Bill Martens
By: Bill Martens

Child support is quite a sensitive issue, and one a lot of people probably don't want to talk about.

Many who are owed money, don't think the current way of figuring out how much is owed is fair.

"I don't think it's taken seriously enough, which is why many non-payers don't make full amounts because they don't think any action will be taken until it gets to a large amount," says Tina Honeck, leader of Wausau's chapter of the Association for Children for Enforcement of Support, or ACES, and needs child support for her daughter.

Child support is often a no-win situation. While the parents are battling it out over money, the one person forgotten about in this case is the person the money is for - the child.

And that money could be calculated in a new way if a piece of legislation goes through, one that will take factors like incomes of both parents, and other children who need support into consideration.

And it will make it easier for lower-income parents to pay their share. "Right now, it's set by 15 or 17, 25 percent of their total gross income and that takes away quite a bit of money so for those people, yes, I think it would help because it would encourage people to pay the child support," says Jane Huebsch of the Marathon County Department of Social Services.

Meanwhile, ACES says more than $92 billion is owed in unpaid child support nationwide. Of that, nearly $2 billion are owed to the children of Wisconsin, and $9 million is owed in Marathon County.

In 2002, the county collected about $19 million in support. As for the number of children on child support, there are 14, 575.

That's about the populations of Weston and Schofield combined.

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