At Hightower Reff Law in Omaha, Nebraska, we often meet with clients who come in confused about what to do when their parenting plan isn’t working for them anymore and they need to change a Nebraska child custody order or change a Nebraska child support order.
Sometimes when a child support or child custody decree that was entered in the past doesn’t work anymore, there is something you can do about it. In some cases, you can change or modify custody. It’s called — simply enough — a modification case.
1. No Magic…but Some Musts
There’s really no magic number of months or years to wait to try a change a Nebraska child custody order. However, to convince a court to modify a domestic relations order, your case has to meet some basic criteria:
- The child domestic relations order has to be a final order (temporary orders can’t be modified)
- There material change in circumstances that:
- happened after the entry of the original decree or any previous modification, and
- was not contemplated when the decree or last order of modification was entered
- If it’s an order of child support, Nebraska law considers a material change in financial circumstances to be:
- One that results in a change of 10 percent or more, but not less than $25, upward or downward, of the current child support obligation, child care obligation, or health care obligation
- In order to be able to modify child support, the change in financial circumstances must have been going on for three months prior to filing and be reasonably be expected to last for an additional six months.
2. The Why’s Matter
If the parent’s income is lower when the original order was entered, the court will look at the reason for the reduction and whether it was in bad faith if the parent did it on purpose in a Nebraska child custody modification case. The biggest consideration, however, is best interests of the child.
In addition to financial issues, the court will also consider other circumstances of the parties or the child – like health – when it’s as a material change in circumstances for modifying Nebraska child support.
3. Other Orders/Issues that may be Able to be Modified:
- parenting time
- spousal support
- removal of the child from the jurisdiction if a parent wants to relocate with the child
4. Orders From Elsewhere
If a court in another state entered the Nebraska child support order in question, you may be able to modify it in Nebraska.
That’s a question of jurisdiction that will need to be addressed after an in-depth consultation with an experienced attorney, like those at Hightower Reff Law, because whether you are likely to be successful in your attempt to change your Nebraska child support or child custody order can change in your based upon small changes in fact.
This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts.
For details about the author, Hightower Reff Attorney Scott Hahn, visit his profile page at our main website.
To learn about Hightower Reff’s Family Law Practice, visit our main website.