Wisconsin Supreme Court
Family — child support – modification — floors
A stipulation and order establishing a 33-month unmodifiable floor for child support payments is enforceable.
“[W]here the parties to a child support order have entered into a stipulation in regard to child support for a limited period of time that the court has adopted, courts will attempt to give effect to the parties’ intentions where the stipulation was entered into freely and knowingly, was fair and equitable when entered into, and is not illegal or violative of public policy. See id., ¶68. In this context, a court’s review typically will consider the doctrine of equitable estoppel, by which a party may be precluded from challenging an agreement when the elements of estoppel set forth in Rintelman are satisfied. See Rintelman, 118 Wis. 2d at 596 (stating elements of estoppel as (1) both parties entered into the agreement freely and knowingly; (2) overall, the settlement is fair and equitable; and (3) the agreement is not illegal or violative of public policy). In the event that the elements of estoppel are met, courts have the equitable authority to decide whether to hold the parties to their bargain or to release them from it. See Jalovec, 305 Wis. 2d 467, ¶11.”
Attorneys: For Appellant: Wessel, Keith R., Madison; Lehker, Kristen E., Madison; Foy, Angela Chaput, Milwaukee; For Respondent: Voiland, Joseph W., Milwaukee; Naeger, Jennifer, Milwaukee