Effective January 1, 2020, a new law lowers child support in Nebraska will take effect. Child support in Nebraska is based on an algorithm set by the Nebraska Supreme Court called the Nebraska Child Support Guidelines. This new algorithm will result in a significantly lower child support payment in many cases.
2020 New Law Lowers Child Support in Nebraska
Who does this apply to
Previous Nebraska law has stated that a change to the Nebraska Child Support Guidelines alone can be a legitimate reason to change child support. Thus, even if the parties’ incomes have not significantly changed, a party may be able to lower their child support if the amount under the new child support guidelines shows a decrease in child support. Thus, this law could affect almost any case in Nebraska where child support has been ordered.
How to lower your child support
Generally, an action to lower child support is brought by filing a Complaint to Modify. In this Complaint, the party asks for the child support to be lowered. The Complaint must be served on the other party in order for the action to go forward.
When to act to lower your child support
It is expected that many payors of child support will promptly file to take advantage of this new law. There may be a backlog of filings to change child support in an already backlogged system. If you wish to take advantage of this new law, you are encouraged to act quickly. Further, the sooner you file, the sooner you may be able to take advantage of this new law. The Court will not generally allow a party to modify child support prior to the filing of the modification action. Thus, for each month you wait to file, you will likely be stuck paying the higher amount of child support.
Whether this applies to you
Because the child support guidelines are an algorithm, whether child support will be lowered or raised in your case depends on the specific facts of your case. You will want to consult with an attorney who can assist you in running a test calculation before filing. You wouldn’t want to bring an action to modify child support just to find that you have one of the cases that the guidelines actually show an increase in support.
Further, if your primary income is from disability payments or you are incarcerated, you may be entitled to a reduction in child support. The new guidelines include specific language that allows for child support to be lower in cases of disability or incarceration.
For a sample of how the new law will affect child support, see the below table:
Comparing Child Support under the New Child Support Guidelines in Nebraska
|Payor’s gross income||Child support under current law||under the law to take effect 1/1/2020|
All sample calculations above are for one child and assume that the custodial parent’s annual gross income is $30,000 and that both parents are contributing 4% to a retirement account. These test calculations do not apply to any specific cases and should not be used for such purposes. These are for illustrative purposes only for hypothetical cases.
For further reading of the new guidelines, you can visit the Nebraska Supreme Court’s website:
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If you are looking for an attorney in a child support case in Omaha, Nebraska or the surrounding areas (including Papillion, Bellevue, Gretna, Elkhorn, Lincoln, Nebraska City, Sarpy, Lancaster), contact our office to set up a consultation.