Under Nebraska law, both parents have a legal obligation to provide financial and material support for their children. If a child primarily lives with one parent, then Nebraska law says that the other parent needs to contribute to that child’s needs by paying child support.
Child support is calculated using the Nebraska Child Support Guidelines, which you can see here. Basically, the guidelines work by taking the monthly income of each parent, and subtracting certain specific deductions (such as taxes, FICA, some retirement contributions, and other child support obligations) from that income.
Then, both parents net incomes are added together, and a total child support obligation is calculated based on that total income using a table provided by state law. The parent who is to pay child support then pays a percentage of that total child support based on their percentage of the parents’ total net income. After a deduction for health insurance for the children of the parents is applied, you arrive at the final child support guideline recommendation.
There are other complicating factors, including that you use “earning capacity” rather than actual income for purposes of child support calculation, to prevent people from taking a lower-paying job (or not working altogether) to avoid paying support. Also, the Guidelines are just that, guidelines, and either parent can ask a judge to deviate from the guidelines if there is a good reason to do so.
Getting child support right at the time of a custody determination is of critical importance, for both parents. If you are facing this issue, you need to have experienced counsel guiding you, helping you understand how the Guidelines apply to your family, and how best to arrange your financial and custodial future. Call or e-mail us if you have any further questions, or contact us to set up a free initial consultation.