As divorce and child custody lawyers in Wisconsin, we discover that many people are surprised to learn that in addition to court ordered child support, a parent may be ordered by the Court to pay for additional child related expenses. What are those expenses? Here are three expenses we see that parents pay in addition to child support.

#1 Health Insurance

In Wisconsin, the Court will require one or both parents to provide medical insurance coverage for a child. If one parent is ordered to carry it, the parent that is not providing the insurance may have to contribute to the cost of adding the child to the insurance plan. A tip here is to talk to your human resource team at your employer to discover what the cost is to add a child to your insurance plan. You are not looking for the total cost you pay. You want to know the cost above insurance for yourself.

#2 Uninsured Medical Expenses

Parents will also be required to contribute to the child’s uninsured medical care. Depending on the case, this can include co-pays, deductibles, over the counter medications, and other expenses. A tip is to be careful in defining medical costs. Determine if the costs include counseling, dental care, braces, etc.

#3 Variable Costs

In Wisconsin variable costs are defined as, “the reasonable costs above basic support costs incurred by or on behalf of a child, including but not limited to, the cost of child care, tuition, a child’s special needs, and other activities that involve substantial costs.” For many, years, despite the definition, parents struggled to define variable costs. Thankfully, Wisconsin recently updated the Proposed Parenting Plan form, and it contains a list of common variable costs. We ask that our clients read and mark the list in any child support, child custody, or divorce matter with children. You can find the form here (Page 4 of 7):