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How Did the 2004 Change in Wisconsin’s Guidelines Affect Child Support Payments?

This report builds on analysis reported on in “The Compliance of New Wisconsin Child Support Orders with the Wisconsin Guideline: Pre- and Post-2004.” In this follow-up report, the authors continue to examine changes associated with the January 2004 guidelines modification by focusing on payments, rather than orders. The report examines relationships between the payments made before and after January 1, 2004, and other variables, focusing primarily on low- and high-income payers in sole placement cases.

The authors again find scant evidence that courts changed their methods for setting orders in the ways described in the guidelines revision. They find increases in the compliance rate for lower-income cases, cases which are the anticipated target of the guidelines change, but not other expected results of the guidelines changes, such as lower orders and lower burdens for the low and high income groups. Given the lack of adoption by courts of the guideline recommendations, the authors conclude that it is unsurprising that the expected outcomes of the new guidelines did not, for the most part, occur.


Child Support, Child Support Policy Research, Guidelines, Orders & Payments, WI Administrative Data Core


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