Child support is awarded in a divorce or a paternity case so both parents can share in the costs of raising their child or children. The same is true if the parents are not married and living separately. The state of Nebraska uses a formula for child support that is based on the net income of both parents.

Everybody always says that child support is separate from custody and visitation. But child support calculations are normally based on both income and the amount of parenting time each parent has with their children, so it doesn’t always feel like child support is a separate issue.

Just because one parent denies either support or visitation does not mean the other parent can, or should, respond in kind. Other factors to include in child support calculations can include whether either parent contributes to health insurance for their child, whether either parent makes retirement contributions and whether either parent has a pre-existing order of support.

If you’re in the process of divorcing, separating, or are involved in a paternity lawsuit, you may wish to learn more about how the obligations of child support are computed. If you’re already paying child support and your income has changed, you may also wish to discover the process to alter or modify your payments.

If you’re in or around Omaha, Nebraska, or nearby in the counties of Sarpy, Douglas, Washington, Saunders, or Dodge, bring your questions and concerns to Abrahamson Law Office. We will be happy to discuss your situation with you and provide experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel to help you navigate the requirements of child support.



Child Support in Nebraska

Generally, child support is determined in the process of dissolving a marriage through divorce, or through a legal separation and/or a paternity lawsuit. The legal requirement for requesting child support is to establish maternity and paternity. Child support also affects those with children who are not married. In other words, the legal obligation to financially support the raising of a child applies even in the absence of a legal marriage.

Child support is designed to help cover the expenses of raising a child, including medical costs, daycare, school tuition, clothing, food, housing, and other related expenses. A parent with custody is presumed to spend more on these costs because of the amount of time he or she spends with the child, plus the added expenses of providing a larger share of housing and food costs.

Calculating Child Support

The amount of child support is calculated using the net income of each parent, which is then subjected to a mathematical formula under Nebraska’s state guidelines. In general, the net income calculation is accomplished by:

  • Figuring the total monthly income of each parent

  • Subtracting approved deductions from each parent’s income, such as taxes, FICA, health insurance, retirement, and previously ordered child support

  • Submitting the total monthly net income to the Income Shares Formula set up by the state

  • Multiplying the child support amount by the percentage of contribution by each parent according to his or her income

This sounds a bit complicated and can be further complicated based on one parent having sole custody of the child or children versus a more shared custody formula between the parents.

When all is said and done, the court can further adjust or deviate from these figures based on the needs of the child and/or other circumstances. Even if the parents agree on a different arrangement, that arrangement must be approved by the court.

Modifying Child Support Payments

If your income changes up or down, or if you lose your job or get a promotion, or if the other parent loses their job or gets a promotion, the amounts and percentages of child support can be modified. In order to successfully obtain a child support modification, the change of income circumstance must have taken place for a minimum of three months and must be expected to last for at least another six months, plus the change in the child support calculation must differentiate from an existing calculation by at least ten percent.

Evading Child Support Payments

If a non-custodial payer of child support attempts to evade his or her obligation by quitting work or taking a lower-paying job, the court can then use what is called “imputed income” to base the payment. Imputed income is calculated based on the person’s education, employment history, and earning capacity in the past.

Also, if a non-custodial parent does not make their court-ordered child support payments, the courts can find that parent to be in contempt of court.

Termination of Child Support

Child support lasts until the child turns 19, joins the military and is thus presumed to be an adult, or gets married, or by other order from the courts.

The attorneys at Abrahamson Law Office are experienced with all of these issues, and other issues, regarding child support.


It’s always best to rely on sound legal advice before entering into or altering a child support arrangement. As a father-daughter team of attorneys, we stand ready to meet with you and help you make sound decisions for your own future and the future of your child. If you have a child support issue in Nebraska, contact Abrahamson Law Office immediately for a free consultation.