Reedsburg, WI asked in Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Wisconsin

Q: In Wisconsin, if no child support ordered, can my ex come back years later & make me pay variable costs?

Per our marital settlement agreement (Wisconsin), there is specific mention as to no child support (we both have fairly equal income) and no mention of "variable costs" anywhere in our orders. It does state that all medical, dental, eye, etc. bills/premiums will be split equally. I sent the bill to my ex for his half (he doesn't think he should pay this), and now he had an attorney send me a letter saying I owe him $16,000 for variable costs (car insurance??--even though I have a car for my children @ my home as well) for the past 3 years (which I had no input into purchase of, nor was this ever stipulated in our orders). Do variable costs have to be addressed in court orders for me to be liable? Note that I pay much of the same variable costs

1 Lawyer Answer
Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst
  • Brookfield, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: If you have shared physical placement of your children and hold open of child support since your incomes are equal, it is normally presumed that you share variable costs for the children, even if it does not specifically state so in the court order. You should be offsetting the variable expenses and have a mechanism in place for payment. You should consult with an experienced family law attorney to review the language of your agreement so you will know how to address this issue.

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