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General Information About Child Support

In determining the amount of child support to be paid by a parent, the Court shall consider the earning capacity of each parent and the guidelines established by the Nebraska Supreme Court (as delegated by the Nebraska Legislature). Nebraska is one of many states using a model that factors in the income of both parents, even if the parents have never been married or lived together, in reaching a child support amount. The parent without custody of the child will pay child support according to his or her allocated percentage owed and taking into account the U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines.

The Nebraska Child Support Guidelines are to be used in all cases involving child support determinations. The Guidelines are presumed to call for the appropriate amount of support unless, in an individual case, it is specifically demonstrated to the court use of the Guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate. In all cases where child support is ordered, a child support worksheet must be included with the order. The worksheet will show the numbers used in the calculation. Please see the Nebraska Supreme Court website for the general rules and sample worksheets.

Child support is normally ordered to be paid on the first day of each month. All delinquent child support payments shall draw interest at the rate in effect on the date of the most recent order or decree. Interest on child support judgments is set by statute. For information on the interest rate on an existing order, contact the Clerk of the District Court at (402) 441-7328.

Child support paid to the party having custody of the minor child shall be the property of such party, unless that party has assigned to the State the right to receive support. This would occur, for example, if the party receives ADC (Aid to Dependent Children) payments or some other form of public assistance benefits. In that instance, the support likely belongs to the State.

In Nebraska, a person's duty to pay child support for a child typically terminates when (a) the child reaches the age of nineteen years of age, (b) the child marries, (c) the child dies, or (d) the child is emancipated by a court of competent jurisdiction, unless the court order for child support specifically extends child support after such circumstances. A person required to pay child support may provide written application for termination of a child support order when the child being supported reaches nineteen years of age, marries, dies, or is otherwise emancipated with appropriate documentation.

An order for child support may be increased or decreased (usually called a modification) in several ways. Any person paying or receiving child support by order of a court may file an application or complaint to modify the child support due to a material change in circumstances that has occurred since the support was ordered or last modified. Many hire an attorney to file the necessary papers and provide them with the legal expertise necessary to present the case to the court for its decision. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services may also offer assistance with regard to seeking a modification of a child support obligation. Please review the information from Child Support Enforcement for the online application and contact information to seek this type of assistance if applicable.

Upon application, hearing, and presentation of evidence of an abusive disregard of the use of child support money paid by one party to the other, the court may require the party receiving such payment to file a verified report with the court, as often as the court requires, stating the manner in which such money is used.

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