Bill Limits How Much Child Support Divorced Fathers Must Pay

A father's rights group is backing a bill that would place a limit on how much money a divorced father would have to pay in child support.

The limit on child support would prevent courts from calculating a parent’s monthly payments on any income above $150,000.

Steve Blake of the group Dads of Wisconsin says the original purpose of child support laws was to make sure that kids don't end up on welfare – that “they're not on the dole and they're still being fed, clothed, housed healthy, [and] go to school.”

“Beyond that, redistributing wealth from one parent to another is not really a state function,” says Blake.

But Blake says he's less concerned with the financial issues in the bill than he is about another provision in the bill, one that would require judges to make it a priority to allow each parent equal time when placement decisions are made.

“It's not so important how much money you spend on a kid as it how much time you spend with a kid,” says Blake. “That's what we're looking for – dads who want to be able to be a parent on an equal basis to the mother.”

One opponent of the bill, Tony Gibart of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, says making equal parenting time the top priority will make it harder for a judge to assure children are raised in safe environments.

“It really would be a one size fits all solution,” says Gibart. “Judges would have their hands tied and be less likely to consider and account for the dynamics of domestic violence.”

The bill will get a hearing next Wednesday in the Assembly Committee on Family Law.

From: Wisconsin Public Radio