Noncustodial parents around the country are required to pay child support to ensure their children receive the financial support they need and prevent them from becoming burdens on the government. Parents in Nebraska can negotiate their own child support agreements and present them to the court for approval, and family law judges can either accept their terms or adjust the proposed monthly payment according to state guidelines.
Child support guidelines
When judges use state guidelines to calculate child support payments, they add the net monthly incomes of both parents and then refer to a table to determine how much support is warranted. Each parent is expected to pay a proportionate share of this figure based on their income. While judges are expected to follow the guidelines in most situations, they may deviate from them and increase child support payments when they determine that noncustodial parents are refusing work or taking jobs that they are overqualified for. In these situations, judges may base child support calculations on what noncustodial parents could be earning based on their qualifications and experience.
Child support adjustments
Once the calculations have been completed, family law judges may increase or lower child support payments if there are special circumstances. Judges may increase the monthly obligation if the child has special needs or extraordinary medical costs, and they may lower the monthly payment if making it would not leave the custodial parent enough money to make ends meet. In divorce cases, these issues are usually addressed during child custody negotiations.
The child support guidelines in Nebraska were drafted to produce the most equitable outcomes possible. They ensure that children get the medical and financial support they need, but they do not punish parents who are struggling financially but who are doing the best they can.