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Maverick, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 5733
Experience:  20 years of professional experience
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I'm trying to find out if Lori is a Nebraska attorney, and

Customer Question

Hi, I'm trying to find out if Lori is a Nebraska attorney, and if so how can I contact her about a case?
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: Yes, I spoke to one attorney
JA: What advice did they give you?
Customer: They said that the case was unlikely to be successful and that there was not much to be gained
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: My son turns 19 May 21 next year. He is attending college this year. He is planning to be entirely self funded. I have email from my exwife that she is planning to use most of the child support money for her own purposes.
JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Nebraskad
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Family Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 3 months ago.

Welcome to Just Answer (“JA”)! My name is Maverick.

Please note: (1) If you want legal advice, you must consult with a local attorney in person before acting or deciding not to act based on any information given here; and (2) I answer most questions within the hour. However, if I am not signed on, please allow up to 24 hours. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms and JA’s site disclaimers presented to you earlier. Finally, please remember to assign a feedback rating to close out the question.

I can assist you with this if you like. If you would rather wait for Lori, just click the opt out button and it will release my lock on the question.

1. Can you please state your specific legal question so we know what type of answer you are looking for?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I want to terminate my child support in Nebraska on the basis that he will be in college and self supporting. My ex-wife (custodial parent) has said in emails to me that she plans to give him $400/mo from the $1162 I currently pay in Child Support.My decree states that I must pay until age of majority (19), death, emancipation, or court order.I'm looking for specific advice from a local attorney with direct experience with the courts in that district whether I would be successful on a termination order, based on any of the following factors:
1) That the child is leaving the home for college and will be self-supporting, except for a small monthly stipend that will be coming out of the child support payment
2) That the custodial parent is not planning to provide any further assistance with college tuition
3) That I would be able to provide some assistance with his tuition if I did not have to continue paying child support
4) That she has already stated that she plans to use the remaining money ($762) for her personal living expenses. Here she claims that it is necessary to maintain her 3 bedroom home, but in fact that is very close to her entire monthly rent, so clearly she is keeping much of those funds for her personal expenses.
5) That I had told her more than 1 year ago, with several intermediate reminders, that she needed to find work and sell her home sooner rather than later because I would be seeking a termination of child support.
6) That starting next month, my "net income" will fall very dramatically, and I will be functionally bankrupt since my bills will exceed my net income unless I can get a modification.If I can eliminate the child support, it will become possible for me to use some of my personal IRA funds to assist with his remaining college tuition.At present, he does not have any reasonable way of making up his current tuition shortfall. He says he will get a summer job, but I cannot see any way for him to cover his expenses in time for college.
Expert:  Maverick replied 3 months ago.

First, let me say that under Nebraska 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. See Zetterman v. Zetterman, 245 Neb. 255, 512 N.W.2d 622 (1994).

Now, are you asking about trying to terminate the child support even before your son turns 19? That can be done under the following circumstances:

  • child has married
  • child has died
  • child has been emancipated by court order.

So, are you asking if the things you have listed will be sufficient to get an order of emancipation?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I guess what I'm hoping is that the term emancipation can be more loosely interpreted to mean anyone who is financially independent from their custodial parent but if it's a court order of emancipation and that's required, then I guess that is the question. However, my understanding of Court emancipation is that it has to be entered and agreed to by the child himself.Another way to think about this is that the custodial parent has stated that she is not intending to use the child support for the benefit of the child at all, but only plans to get him a small stipend while keeping the rest of the money for herself. Maybe that means I'm requesting to have custody of the child, even though he is over 18, financially independent, and living at college.
Expert:  Maverick replied 3 months ago.

Okay, let me look into this a bit and I will be back...

Expert:  Maverick replied 3 months ago.

In Nebraska, a child is presumed to be emancipated when he moves to his own residence. However, that presumption can be rebutted by a showing that the child is not capable of supporting himself financially and managing his own affairs. Further, if one of the parents objects to it, the court cannot generally order it.

So, this brings us to your next question. Under NB law the money that you pay in support, is by statute, deemed the personal property of the parent to who you are paying support and there are no limitations on how that money may be used as the underlying purpose of the child support is to increase the custodial parent's household income. This concept is true in most all states.

That said, Nebraska has this law that may help. It states:

4) In determining the amount of child support to be paid by a parent, the court shall consider the earning capacity of each parent and the guidelines provided by the Supreme Court pursuant to section 42-364.16 for the establishment of child support obligations.

Upon application, hearing, and presentation of evidence of an abusive disregard of the use of child support money or cash medical support paid by one party to the other, the court may require the party receiving such payment to file a verified report with the court, as often as the court requires, stating the manner in which child support money or cash medical support is used. Child support money or cash medical support paid to the party having physical custody of the minor child shall be the property of such party except as provided in section 43-512.07.

So, this abusive disregard standard has to be met.

You final option is for you to then seek to modify custody so that you now become the custodial parent. If you want to do that, you must show that a material change has occurred and that now it is in the best interest of the child for you to have custody.

The case of Davidson v. Davidson, 254 Neb. 357, 576 N.W.2d 779 (1998), indicates that in determining a child's best interests, courts may consider factors such as general considerations of moral fitness of the child's parents, including the parents' sexual conduct; respective environments offered by each parent; the emotional relationship between child and parents; the age, sex, and health of the child and parents; the effect on the child as the result of continuing or disrupting an existing relationship; the attitude and stability of each parent's character; parental capacity to provide physical care and satisfy educational needs of the child; the child's preferential desire regarding custody if the child is of sufficient age of comprehension regardless of chronological age, and when such child's preference for custody is based on sound reasons; and the general health, welfare, and social behavior of the child.