Something Overlooked In the Kleefisch Child Support Bill

Yeah, I am sure you are all tired of the brou ha ha surrounding the Child Support Bill introduced and withdrawn by State Representative Joel Kleefisch. As Zach published earlier, Rep. Kleefisch received help in preparing the bill from wealthy campaign contributor Michael Eisenga. I am not going to recount all of that…but I did find it interesting that the media was all fired up over the ghost writing but not necessarily the cap on earnings (at $150,000 to be exact) that could be considered in family court when child support is being determined.

And in support of that limitation, we have this quote from State Representative Tom Larson:

Larson said the public isn’t served by a system that allows children to receive such a large sum in support payments.

“There’s some value in having some hardship with life,” Larson said. “Even if I were a rich person, I probably would struggle a little bit to make sure my kids earned what they get. What’s the purpose of this money going to child support if it’s only going to create a child with maybe less values.”

?”…create a child with maybe less values…? How is receiving substantial child support result in different values than living in a household with similar income available…like if Mr. Eisenga and his family were still intact?

So if we think having a lot of household income is creating the wrong values in our children…then why aren’t we taxing the absolute living hell out of rich parents until we reduce them to the per capita income for the State of Wisconsin? That’ll show ’em! I mean after all: spare the rod, spoil the child?

Ok…that’s a fair amount of hyperbole…but really Representatives Kleefisch and Larson: Where are your family values??? Why aren’t these children worth the financial support that their father can readily afford them?

sarcasm–> And for those of you having some type of hardship in life…let that be a valuable lesson to you <--sarcasm


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5 thoughts on “Something Overlooked In the Kleefisch Child Support Bill

  1. I don’t know that the “cap” was overlooked. Everything about that potential bill stunk so bad that the merits of a cap were not even close to being considered.
    Divorce, alimony, support, etc. are complicated and I’m no expert. But let’s say support for a single child with that $150k cap provides $2k per month (16%). At what point is the child health and welfare being met? And at what point is the life style of the child or custodial parent being carried by potentially excessive support? Also assumed is that the non-custodial parent maintains a high income for the term of the agreement. Hard times can occur and those number all go out the window. My point is that this is a very complex issue, but it does seem that there is support point of diminishing return.

    1. How could the legislature possibly do a better job of making those determinations with a catch-all law than the courts on a case-by-base basis?

      And Mr. Eisenga’s predicament (if one can call having to draw upon a $30 million estate to make child support payments a predicament) was of his own making. The inflexibility of his $15,000 support minimum was due to his prenuptial agreement, not anything the state imposed upon him.

    2. Having gone through a divorce…yes all of those things are very difficult…but from experience I think it is far better for an experienced family court judge and the two respective attorneys determine the needs and resources involved in child support.

      But once again we have tone deaf legislators talking about stuff that is beyond their comprehension.

  2. The prisons are full of people who experienced extreme hardship in their childhoods. Perhaps Larson just wants to keep the cells full, the typical GOP version of a jobs program.

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