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Slowiaczek Albers & Whelan has served clients throughout Omaha and outstate Nebraska for years, from alimony matters to child support negotiations. As part of your divorce, it is critical that you agree on fair alimony and child support terms as you rebuild your life. Having an experienced and seasoned legal professional on your side will help you navigate your post-divorce finances appropriately.
Understanding Alimony in Nebraska
Alimony is a court-ordered payment that one spouse pays the other during the divorce or for a time after. Either spouse can request alimony during the divorce, though they must demonstrate a need for financial support that the other spouse can afford to pay.
There are several types of alimony in Nebraska, which we will outline below:
- Temporary support
- Rehabilitative support
- Permanent support
1. Temporary Support
It is fairly common for judges to award temporary alimony during the divorce process, especially if one spouse is financially dependent on the other.
Temporary support during the divorce helps a lower-earning spouse make ends meet while adjusting to a new, one-income household. Temporary alimony terminates when the judge finalizes the divorce.
2. Rehabilitative Support
Rehabilitative support is another form of short-term alimony, but this kind of support is provided only if a spouse shows they need to acquire an education or certain job skills to find employment.
The purpose of rehabilitative support is to provide the supported spouse with financial help while taking the steps necessary to become self-supporting. Rehabilitative support payments may terminate when the supported spouse secures employment or completes a degree program.
3. Permanent Support
Permanent support is rare and usually reserved it for long-term marriages where one spouse can’t become self-supporting, such as if a spouse can’t become financially independent due to advanced age or disability.
Permanent alimony is not always indefinite, though, and the court may order that it terminates on a future date or after a particular event, such as if the supported spouse remarries.
Once the court decides alimony is appropriate, it will evaluate the following factors to determine the amount and duration of the award:
- each spouse’s financial circumstances;
- the length of the marriage;
- both spouse’s contributions to the marriage, including childcare and education;
- whether either spouse interrupted personal careers or educational opportunities during the marriage; and
- the supported spouse’s ability to engage in gainful employment without interfering with the needs of the couple’s children.
How Is Alimony Calculated?
There is no formula for judges to use to calculate alimony. Judges have broad discretion and will focus on ensuring that the dependent spouse has a reasonable time to bridge the period between the divorce and becoming self-supporting.
The court can require alimony payments to be one lump-sum, periodic payments, or a property transfer. Lump-sum payments are rare, though such a payment will end the paying spouse’s obligation forever. Periodic payments are most common and usually occur monthly, such as by a paycheck deduction of the paying party directed to the supported party.
Laws Protecting Against Non-Payments
Individuals who do not pay court-ordered alimony could face penalties like tax intercepts, attorney fees, bank account seizures, loss of driver’s license, or in the most severe cases, jail time. If you are held in contempt due to non-payment, the court may appoint you an attorney if you are unable to afford one.
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What Is Child Support?
Child support is a monthly payment that parents make to help cover the costs of raising a child. In Nebraska, parents have an equal duty to support their children financially and otherwise.
Generally, however, the parent who lives with the child most of the time (the custodial parent) tends to receive child support payments, and the parent with less parenting time (the non-custodial parent) usually makes the payments.
The amount of these payments depends on Nebraska’s child support guidelines, which are based on:
- the number of children needing support
- the income of both parents
- and the custody arrangement
How Long Do You Have to Pay Child Support in Omaha, Nebraska?
Typically, parents must pay child support until the child turns 19 years old.
How Is Child Support Calculated in Nebraska?
Nebraska courts consider a few financial factors when determining how much a parent needs to pay in child support. One such factor is net income.
Net income is gross income minus deductions like:
- state and federal income taxes
- mandatory retirement payments
- and support already paid for other children
Gross income, on the other hand, includes everything from salaries and commissions to unemployment and Social Security benefits. Most other income sources, even from regular overtime and alimony received, also count as income.
Before the order is in place, parents may ask the court to increase or reduce the payment amounts based on the following circumstances:
- when there are extraordinary medical costs of either parent or child;
- when the child has special needs;
- if total net income exceeds $15,000 per month;
- where the child has been placed in foster care; and
- whenever the application of the guidelines in an individual case would be unjust or inappropriate.
Let Slowiaczek Albers & Whelan Help
If you have legal concerns or questions about alimony or child support negotiations in your Omaha post-divorce case, speak with an experienced attorney for legal guidance.
A lawyer can help evaluate your circumstances and the terms of the agreement to ensure you have a fair contract in place. Further, having a lawyer represent you in your negotiations can make sure that all the nuances of the agreement, such as the duration of payments, are reasonable.
Let Slowiaczek Albers & Whelan help with legal matters concerning alimony and child support in Omaha, Nebraska. Call (402) 928-2007 or fill out this online contact form to schedule a consultation with our team.
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