Child Support Guidelines

Child support in Nebraska is computed according to the Nebraska Child Support Guidelines. The main principle behind the guidelines is to recognize the equal duty of both parents to contribute to the support of their children in proportion to their respective net incomes. The guidelines are intended to be used for both temporary and permanent support determinations.

When Are the Guidelines Applied?
In determining child support obligations in a divorce proceeding, the Court is obliged by law to use the Nebraska Child Support Guidelines unless there can be shown some very compelling reasons for the Guidelines to not be applied. 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;
  • If total net income exceeds $8,000 monthly, child support for amounts in excess of $8,000 monthly may be more but shall not be less than the amount which would be computed using the $8,000 monthly income unless other permissible deviations exist;
  • For juveniles placed in foster care; or
  • Whenever the application of the guidelines in an individual case would be unjust or inappropriate.

Child support is paid until the child reaches the age of majority, which is 19, or until the child is emancipated, which means that the child is supporting himself, for example, if the child gets married or joins the military. The child support guidelines take the gross income figure for each party and deducts taxes, FICA, the cost of health insurance for the children, mandatory retirement, and court-ordered child support paid for children not of this marriage. The net figures are then combined, percentages determined and a formula using the net income figures and the number of children is used to determine the child support.

Daycare Costs
In addition to Child Support, the non-custodial parent will be ordered to pay a percentage of work-related daycare expenses incurred for the children.

Issues Regarding Children Subject to Change
Understand that while all issues of your property settlement and debts will be final as of the finalization of your Divorce Decree, the Court retains continued authority over issues regarding children (custody, visitation, child support, etc.). Therefore, if there is a substantial change in circumstances, it may be possible to change custody from one parent to the other. In order to prevent children being shuffled back and forth from one parent to the other, however, this will usually happen only in extreme cases. Child support can also be changed if there is a significant change in income (either up or down), or if the current child support does not comply with the guidelines.

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