Child support payments may be part of a divorce, separation, or paternity case. Both the legal and biological parents of a child have an obligation to financially support their child. Whether parents work together to create a parenting plan and separation agreement outside of court or child support is determined by the court, it becomes a court order that is enforceable. If you are unsure how to handle an ex failing to pay their support payments, talk with a child support attorney.
When a parent does not pay their support payments, it can put the other parent and their child in financial hardship. There are several steps a paying parent should take, such as appealing a decision or requesting a modification of the order rather than refusing to pay the amount. If you are a parent who should be receiving payments, there are several steps you can take to have the court enforce child support payments.
Child Support Agencies in Omaha
Most child support issues are handled at the state level. The Nebraska Child Support Payment Center (NCSPC) is the agency where support payments are made. The Child Support Enforcement (CSE) office in the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, and the CSE determines the amount a parent should be paying according to state guidelines.
When you do not receive the child support payments you need to support your child, your first step should be to talk with your co-parent. Especially if the two of you have an amicable relationship, you may be able to work out the issue personally, saving yourself time and money. Unfortunately, a co-parent is not always willing to discuss the issue or will continue to not pay the appropriate amount.
Instead, you can work with the CSE and NCSPC to enforce the payments. Because all payments are made through the NCSPC, they are able to handle your co-parent’s failure to pay. Unfortunately, this option can take significant time to see results. In some cases, going through the court for enforcement is the better option. Your attorney can help you review your options and decide which helps you and your child the most and what may avoid alienating your co-parent.
How Support Payments Are Enforced
Both the CSE and the family court can enforce the payments in several different ways depending on the severity of the amount unpaid and the willingness of a parent to pay the amount. Both the CSE and the court have several methods and may work together to use certain legal or state tools. Methods of enforcement may include:
- Withholding Income: The CSE can notify the employer of the non-paying parent to withhold the support payments directly from the parent’s paycheck. The income is then sent directly to the other parent. This method works better if the parent has a consistent job and is not self-employed or unemployed.
- State Administrative Penalties: The CSE can take steps such as license suspension, reporting the back payments to credit bureaus, garnishing bank accounts, placing liens on real estate, and charging interests on accounts more than 30 days past due. The CSE can also intercept tax refunds.
- Federal Involvement: If the non-paying parent’s back payments are more than $2,500 in arrears, the U.S. Department of State can deny or revoke their passport. If the parent moves to another state, the CSE and the federal government can cross state lines to enforce the payments.
Q: What Are the Child Support Laws in Nebraska?
A: Both legal parents of a child have a responsibility to provide financial support for their child, proportional to the income each parent contributes to the combined income. Child support amounts are based on the basic requirements of raising and caring for a child, including medical care, food, shelter, and clothing. The court will also consider each parent’s income, the time they care for the child, and other relevant factors.
Child support payments continue in Nebraska until a child reaches 19 or whenever stated by the court order.
Q: Is There a Statute of Limitations on Back Child Support in Nebraska?
A: No, there is no statute of limitations on collecting back child support in Nebraska. Child support is a legal and moral obligation of both parents. If a parent fails to pay support to a child, those back payments remain.
The parent can declare bankruptcy, go to jail, or move states, and they still owe back payments. A child can turn 19 and no longer require child support, but the parent still owes them back child support. If you are a parent who is unable to meet your support payments, it is essential you take steps to address this. The family court is often willing to work with a parent who wants to pay their support.
Q: Can Back Child Support Be Forgiven in Nebraska?
A: In Nebraska, there is no program to forgive back child support or arrears. If a parent owes back child support, they are obligated to pay that. These back support payments continue and can impact many aspects of your life.
If you find yourself having difficulty making support payments, talk with an attorney and petition the court for an appeal or modification. An appeal is appropriate if the amount assigned to you was miscalculated or did not account for important financial aspects. A modification is appropriate if your or your spouse’s financial circumstances have changed significantly.
Q: How Long Does a Father Have to be Absent to Lose His Rights in Nebraska?
A: In Nebraska, one set of grounds for the termination of parental rights is the abandonment of the child for six months or more before the petition to terminate their rights was filed. This may result in one or both parents losing their parental rights. Other grounds for the termination of parental rights include repeated and continued child neglect, purposeful and serious bodily injury to the child, and subjecting a child to aggravated and harmful circumstances.
Contact Stange Law Firm
Working with a compassionate attorney with years of experience in Nebraska child support and enforcement law can be incredibly helpful during this difficult time. Whether you are a parent unable to pay support or who has not been receiving the support payments you need to take care of your child, the qualified attorneys at Stange Law Firm want to help.
We know how important this issue is to your family, and we want to help you navigate the situation with tact and care for your family’s needs. Contact our team today to discuss the options available to you.