Modifications of a Decree or Court Order
Under certain circumstances, a decree or order entered by a court for divorce, legal separation, paternity, or custody may be modified. Matters which are ordinarily considered for modification include:
- Child support and related financial matters
- Child custody and parenting time
- Alimony or spousal support
Under Nebraska law, a “material change of circumstances” is required before a court will consider modifying the terms of a court order. Examples of a material change of circumstances include:
- A substantial change in the income of either of the parties which was not anticipated
- Abuse or neglect of a child by a parent
- One parent seeks to remove a child from the Nebraska. See Removal from Jurisdiction.
- A mutual decision by the parties that a change to the order is needed
For modifications relating to custody or parenting time, it is also necessary to prove that the change would be in the “best interests” of the child.
If you think that a modification of your decree or parenting plan is needed, Contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to advise you regarding Nebraska law as it relates to your potential modification case, discuss the evidence required to support a successful outcome, assess the potential strengths and weaknesses of your case, and counsel you for how to prepare for any future modification actions.
Parenting Plan Modifications:
For parents involved in a modification action regarding custody or parenting time issues for their children, there are certain requirements.
Second Level Parenting Education Course:
The Nebraska Parenting Act may require parents involved in a modification action addressing issues of custody or parenting time to attend a second level parenting education course.
Parents in Douglas County may attend the “Reaching Beyond Conflict” parenting seminar through the Conciliation Court in Douglas County. The registration fee for this course is $50.00. For more information, contact the Conciliation Court at (402) 444 – 7168.
Additional parenting courses that have been approved by the State of Nebraska can be found on the Nebraska Supreme Court’s website: Parenting Classes.
We recommend attending the seminar as early in your case as possible.
The Nebraska Parenting Act requires parenting plans to include a provision for resolving future disputes or disagreements through mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution. Generally, parenting plans will require parents to attempt to mediate a disputed issue prior to seeking judicial intervention by filing a modification action with the court.
Schedule a consultation to speak with an attorney regarding any requirements that you must meet prior to filing a legal action.
Child Support Modifications
After a child support order is entered, the financial obligation may be modified in the future by either parent.
To qualify for a child support modification, the Nebraska Child Support Guidelines requires that the total amount of support due would either increase or decrease by more than 10%. However, the overall amount must increase or decrease by more than $25.00 for either parent to qualify for a modification.
Additionally, if the modification is based on a change in income for either parent, the court requires that the current financial circumstances must have lasted for at least 3 months and are expected to last for at least 6 months into the future.
If your income has changed such that it warrants a modification of a current child support obligation, contact us to discuss your facts and circumstances with an experienced child support attorney and receive a recommendation on the potential success of a child support modification action. If a child support modification is justified, the timing of filing a modification is important, so it’s important to see legal advice right away. Every day you wait is a day that the existing support order remains in place.
Similarly, if the other parent is seeking a modification of your current child support order, contact our office to schedule a consultation to determine whether a modification is appropriate and possible defenses that may be raised to prevent your child support amount from being lowered.