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Nebraska Child Support
Child Support in Nebraska

Nebraska uses the Income Shares Model to determine the amount of child support the noncustodial parent pays. This routine works on the premise that children should enjoy the same level of financial support they would have had their parents remained married. In calculating support, Nebraska starts with overall available income from both parents and assigns a percentage portion to each parent.

Under Section 4-204, Nebraska considers the net income of both parties for purposes of the calculation of child support - the number that is left once certain allowable deductions are made. The deductions are set forth under Section 4-205 and include income taxes, Social Security deductions, support paid for children of a prior relationship or a percentage of income to be applied to children of a current relationship, union dues and retirement contributions if they are mandatory.

The Income Shares Model estimates the amount of support that would have been available if the marriage had not failed. This estimated amount is then divided proportionally to the parents according to each parent's income. It is easy to do this using the Nebraska child support worksheet. Pay records typically substantiate the estimated incomes.

This routine takes into account both parents' gross income and applies a percentage to it based on the number of minor children they have together. The court takes the combined income of both parents and works out the proportion each contributes. That figure is then divided proportionately based on each parent's ability to pay and which parent has primary custody.

If the noncustodial parent has a higher income than the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the greater portion of the child support obligation; conversely, if the noncustodial parent has a lower income than the custodial, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the smaller portion of the child support obligation. For example, if the father makes $1,000 a week and the mother earns $250 a week, the father must provide 75 percent of the child support. If the mother were the custodial parent in this case, she would not actually be responsible for paying anything because her share would go into household expenses.

All orders for child support obligations shall be established in accordance with the provisions of the guidelines unless the court finds that one or both parties have produced sufficient evidence to rebut the presumption that the guidelines should be applied.

Nebraska child support is typically calculated by using a Child Support Worksheet. The worksheet generates an appropriate Nebraska child support obligation according to each spouse's income and other relative numeric factors such as taxes paid and retirement contributions.

Calculate Nebraska Child Support

Other Expenses and Deductions

Extraordinary expenses are either add-ons, where the expense is added to the support payment, or deductions, where the amount is deducted, and indicated as either mandatory or permissive. Childcare expenses are a mandatory deduction; extraordinary medical expenses are a deviation factor.

Child-care expenses, which are due to employment of either parent or to allow the parent to obtain training or education necessary to obtain a job or enhance earning potential, are not specifically computed into the guidelines amount and are considered independently of any amount computed by use of these guidelines. The value of the federal income tax credit for childcare may be subtracted from actual costs to arrive at a figure for net child-care expenses. Children's health care needs are to be met by requiring either parent to provide health insurance as required by state law, and the court may apportion all non-reimbursed children's health care costs between the parents according to the same formula used to determine each parent's share of support.

Child Support Enforcement

In Nebraska, county attorneys aggressive collect child support. Moreover, there is no statute of limitations on child support enforcement. In Nebraska, child support is considered a judgment.

If a noncustodial parent does not pay child support, he or she is subject to enforcement measures in accordance with Federal and Nebraska child support laws to collect regular and past-due payments. These measures include:

  • income withholding (salaries/wages, unemployment benefits, worker's compensation, investment funds, retirement plans, public assistance grants);
  • consumer credit bureau reporting;
  • driver's, recreational, and professional license suspension;
  • income tax refund interception;
  • passport denial / revocation;
  • liens on the obligor's real property, such as his or her house;
  • and garnishment of bank accounts or investments.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services operates the Nebraska Child Support Enforcement Program, which is funded by the state and the federal government.

Nebraska law allows for what is called "execution." This means that authorities may seize an obligor's personal property, including real estate, and sell it to satisfy any arrearages.

More information about Nebraska Child Support Enforcement can be found at their website.

Emancipation

The age of emancipation in Nebraska is 19 years of age, unless the child marries, dies, or is emancipated by the court. (Neb. Rev. Stat. Section 43-2101 (1998) see also Neb. Rev. Stat. Section 42-371.01 (1998))

In Nebraska, a child is presumed to be emancipated when he or she reaches 19, or marries, or enlists in the military, or moves to his or her own residence. In order to stop paying support a parent must petition the court or arrearages accumulate.

Deviation Factors

Under Nebraska Court Rules Chapter 4, Article 2, Section 4-203, Nebraska's courts presume that its guidelines are wholly adequate unless a viable challenge is made. In other words, the guidelines are correct until they're proved wrong - a rebuttable presumption. Section 4-203 does allow for deviations for extraordinary circumstances.

Deviations "must take into consideration the best interests of the child" and if "the application of the guidelines in an individual case would be unjust or inappropriate." This includes high medical bills to any member of the family, special needs for a disabled child or a juvenile, or an excessive amount of child support as a result of a very high income.

Private school tuition is also a deviation factor.

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