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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 115478
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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I am reading your answer to a question posed 'In Nebraska,

Customer Question

I am reading your answer to a question posed 'In Nebraska, where child support payments end when child supported turns 19'. My son recently turned 19 on 10/7. I received my monthly statement for child support which did not decrease in October. When I called the state offices and explained to them that there must have been an error in calculation I was told that they don't prorate the support when the child turns 19. Can they just ignore the court order and continue to assess child support after the child turns 19?
Also, I've been having my children for 1/2 the time sine 1 year after the divorce (2009). The original support is based on full physical custody (Wilson v Wilson) Is there a simple/low cost way to get the child custody/child support modified so I am no longer paying full support as though I do not have them 1/2 of the time?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Under NE law a district court in a dissolution action may not order child support beyond the age of the majority of a child over the objection of any parent absent a previous agreement between the parents. In this case, the parents' prior agreement was enforced. See: Zetterman v. Zetterman, 245 Neb. 255, 512 N.W.2d 622 (1994).

Support enforcement cannot violate state law or the court's order. The only way they can continue to seek to collect support from you is if there are any arrears in the support payments.

If they are continuing to try to collect, the only recourse you have if they will not cease and desist is to file a motion to terminate support on the 19 year old and to modify your support payment based on the significant change in circumstances of physical custody parenting time. The court is the only one that can do this for you and you have to file it in court now to get the support amount changed.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have three children the oldest having just turned 19 (the 19 y/o has lived with me the past year and the other two children have been with me 1/2 the time for the past 7 years). The argument being used is that since billing occurs on the 1st of the month he had not yet reached the age of majority so the full amount is charged. their response is that 'they do not pro-rate the amount' based on the age of majority. Withholding the amount of over payment is not my best option since that puts me in arrears (I've never been in arrears and have paid reliably) but after having talked to the child support agency and the district clerk concerning the difference in the court order and Nebraska law vs their office practices I see no other way to resolve this than to have to go to court. Unfortunately, my experience with the family court is that it will make no difference. They have leaned more toward expediency than justice in the past and I don't see the possibility that they won't take that route again.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

You need to got to court, not to support enforcement, and you need to file a motion to modify support, that is the only way you can get the payment changed. You have a significant change in circumstances here, which would be the good cause needed for the court to change the support order. But it has to go to court, they are the only ones who can change it. It has to be done by a Motion to Modify Support and you presenting your evidence in accordance with the rules of evidence and rules of civil procedure.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I also remember seeing somewhere that in Nebraska court orders on child support cannot modify amounts that have already been assessed. so I feel I am being forced to pay an inaccurate amount and if I fail to pay that amount I will suffer the consequences of being in arrears. But if I do pay the amount, then it can not be modified retroactively.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

That is not true, they can modify FUTURE payments, but cannot change what you have paid already, which makes it imperative for you to file your motion immediately. They can modify it retroactive only to the date you file the motion to modify, not prior to that date. So you need to pay as you have been, file the motion and ask for modification back to the date of filing and you keep paying until the court decides. Once they decide and if they grant the modification, you would get credit for anything you overpaid since you filed the motion towards your future payments.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
there's the kicker. If I hire a lawyer to represent my case then I spend more than the amount in dispute and still face the prospect of being denied resolution by the court. If I win I'll only receive the amount in question and the existing policies won't change.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

The "kicker" as you put it is present in all cases filed in court, that is a chance everyone filing in court takes. However, if you want any resolution on this then you have no choice but to go to court, whether you like that choice or not. If you win you win, it is not about changing policies, it is about changing only your payments based on the changes in circumstances which are good cause as you described them. Now, you can make excuses for not wanting to do what is legally required, but if you want any hope at all of the change, then you need to follow the legal process to have the change made in your support, that is all we can tell you, the process you need to follow.

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