What are the Nebraska Child Support Guidelines?
The Nebraska Child Support Guidelines are created by the Nebraska Supreme Court to set forth the standards by which child support is calculated. The main principle is to recognize the duty of both parents to contribute to the support of their children in proportion to their respective incomes. Other factors the court considers include:
- The additional cost of health insurance for the child
- Contributions to retirement plans (voluntary or mandatory)
- Student loan debt payments of either parent
- Obligation to support children from another relationship
- Substantial fluctuations of annual earnings by either parent during the immediate past 3 years
- The Guidelines are to be used for both temporary and permanent support determinations. The Guidelines are reviewed at least every four years by the court.
What happens if the owing parent does not pay child support?
If a parent is delinquent in their child support obligation by at least one full month, the custodial parent should contact the Child Support Enforcement office. The most common enforcement methods are:
- Income Withholding
- Credit Reporting (if past due support exceeds $500)
- License Suspension (driver’s hunting, fishing, and professional)
- Tax Refund Intercept (if more than three months behind and more than $500 past due)
- Passport Denial (if more than $2,500 past due)
- Court Enforcement (Payment plan, fine, jail)
For information regarding Child Support Enforcement in Nebraska, call 402-441-8715 or toll-free at 1-877-631-9973, or visit their website.
All orders for child support are liens on the non-custodial parent’s real property owned in Nebraska. The lien keeps the obligor from selling or refinancing the property until all past due child support is paid.
What is income withholding?
Income withholding is the most effective method to collect child support. When the employer makes out a payroll, the child support payment is withheld and sent to the Nebraska Child Support Payment Center. The Center then forwards a payment to the custodial parent via paper check or direct deposit. This may take 3-5 business days to process. Nebraska’s income withholding law permits the following to be withheld: salaries/wages, unemployment, worker’s compensation, investment funds, disability payments, and retirement plans.
When can you deviate from a child support order?
Deviations from the guidelines are permissible under the following circumstances:
- When there are extraordinary medical costs of either parent or child
- When special needs of a disabled child exist
- For juveniles placed in foster care
- If total net income of the parents exceeds $15,000 monthly; or
- Whenever the application of the guidelines in an individual case would be unjust or inappropriate
What is the process for payment of child support?
If the parent’s income is not being withheld by their employer, the obligor parent makes their child support payment to the Nebraska Child Support Payment Center either electronically or by mail. The Center will then send the child support check to the custodial parent or the custodial parent may have their child support applied by direct deposit. It may take 3-5 business days for processing through the mail. For more information, please visit the Nebraska Child Support Payment Center website.
What about day care expenses?
Day care expenses are separate from child support because the Nebraska Child Support Guidelines recognize that child care for young children is often a tremendous expense. Therefore, the Guidelines provide that each parent pay a percentage of the work or school related day care expenses in addition to the child support.
What about uninsured medical expenses?
The guidelines take into account that there will be uninsured medical expenses for minor children and this is built in to the calculation. Under the basic custody calculation, the parent receiving support is required to pay the first $480.00 of uninsured medical expenses per child, per year. Amounts exceeding $480.00 per child per year are typically shared by the parents on an equal or prorate basis, depending upon their respective incomes.
Can parenting time be denied because of delinquent child support payments?
No. Parenting time and support are independent rights and responsibilities. Each party is obligated to comply with court orders regardless of the behavior of the other parent. The purpose of this rule is to reduce the risk children will suffer as a result of the behavior of their parents by being denied support or time with a parent.
When does child support end?
In most cases, Child Support will terminate when a child turns 19, marries, becomes emancipated, or dies.
Is child support taxed?
No. The recipient of child support does not pay tax on the support received, nor is the child support deductible for the payor.
Contact our office to schedule a consultation for assistance in securing financial support for the well-being of your children. At an initial consultation, your lawyer will prepare a child support calculation for you so that you can understand what your rights and responsibilities are under the Nebraska Child Support Guidelines.