When couples with children are separating or divorcing, child custody and child support are essential issues to decide. Divorce and separation are expensive processes, even when done amicably and efficiently. Each parent loses a significant source of income, may lose marital property, and has to deal with other court and attorney costs from the separation. While a Lincoln child support lawyer will cost money as well, they will likely save you money by negotiating an optimal agreement.
Because of the financial hardship imposed by divorce and separation, the determination of child support can be potentially contentious. Although both parents want to provide for their child, the parent required to pay support often feels like they are being asked to give more than necessary. The parent receiving child support payments may feel that they aren’t getting enough to cover the significant costs of raising a child.
Although it is technically possible to represent yourself during a child support case, it’s often not in your interests. Whether child support is being determined in court or in a mediated separation agreement, an experienced Lincoln child support attorney can defend your interests and protect the needs of your child.
Initial Determination of Child Support
During a court case or alternative dispute resolution (ADR), child support payments are determined. Both legal and biological parents have an obligation to provide support for their child, and that includes financial support. Child support is necessary in divorce, separation, and paternity cases.
An attorney can represent you and your child’s interests during these negotiations or court proceedings. During mediation or negotiation, your attorney can help you and your co-parent determine a fair and reasonable support amount for your child that the court is likely to approve.
During a child support court case, your attorney can advocate for your interests and explain why support should be assigned a certain way. Your support case is more likely to proceed how you want when an attorney is protecting your interests.
Child Support Court Order Modification
After a divorce or other family court order, a family must follow these court orders. However, the court understands that circumstances can change. When a child support order is no longer appropriate for a material and significant change in a family’s life, they can request a modification of the court order.
An attorney can help you with order modification. They can determine if your change in circumstances means you qualify for modification, help you file, and argue your case in court. This is especially necessary if your co-parent does not agree that the modification is necessary.
A child support order can be modified if either parent experiences a significant change in income that would alter the child support payments by 10% or more, but not less than $25. This change in income must be expected to be long-term. If the paying parent suffered a decrease in income, they could only receive a decrease in support payments if they did not cause the decrease in income. A support order can also be modified if the child’s financial needs have changed.
Child Support Order Enforcement
If the paying parent is failing to provide child support payments, the receiving parent should be prepared to take action. In some cases, parents are able to discuss the issue outside of court and determine if a modification is necessary to enable the other parent to meet payments.
However, this will not always resolve the situation. If a paying parent is willfully refusing to provide support payments, the other parent can request that the family court enforce the support order. They can be held in contempt of court, which can result in a jail sentence.
An experienced attorney can help you determine your legal options if your co-parent is failing to provide support payments. These payments are a parental obligation and important for the support and care of your child. An attorney can help you get the support you need.
Q: What Is the Minimum Child Support in Nebraska?
A: Both parents have a legal obligation to provide financial support for their child. In Nebraska, child support is almost always required. Even if parents have a low income, a paying parent is required to either pay $50 a month or 10% of their income toward child support. The court will select whichever amount is higher. In some cases, such as when a parent is incarcerated or disabled, the court may allow a lower amount of support.
Q: Can Child Support Be Waived in Nebraska?
A: Child support is seen as the right of a child. Because of this, even if both parents agree to waive support, it’s unlikely the court will agree. The court will only allow a waiver of child support if it is in the child’s interest, which is not common if the child is a minor and under the care of their parents.
The termination of child support is typically only allowed in the following circumstances:
- The child is over the age of 18
- The child is married
- The child is deceased
- The child is emancipated
In these situations, the child no longer needs financial support, so termination is appropriate.
Q: How Is Nebraska Child Support Calculated?
A: The basic guidelines for child support rely on the income of each parent, each parent’s share of parenting time with children, and how many children need support. The parent with more parenting time has to provide for more of a child’s needs, so they are typically the parent who receives child support. If one spouse has a significantly lower income than the other, they are likely to receive child support payments.
Child support payments cover the basic needs of caring for a child. The court will also consider other unique factors, such as:
- Unique medical costs of either parent
- Medical needs, disabilities, or other needs of the child
Q: What Happens if Someone Doesn’t Pay Child Support in Nebraska?
A: If a parent is willfully not paying child support payments, they can be held in contempt of court. A parent can request that the court enforce the order for support. After hearing the case, the court can sentence the co-parent to jail or allow them to make up the payments according to a payment plan. An experienced attorney can help a parent determine the ideal course of action if their co-parent is failing to pay child support.
Contact Stange Law Firm
The experienced and dedicated attorneys at Stange Law Firm want to help you find the ideal solution to your family’s child support case. Contact our team today.