Carter v. Thompson (Nebraska 2020)

No. A-18-1189 (Neb. Ct. App. 2020)
January 2020

The trial court has discretion to determine if a modified child support order will be retroactive. The mother filed to modify child support in February 2016, and the father cross-appealed to modify custody and support. The trial court entered an order on September 28, 2018, increasing the father’s child support retroactive to February 2016. The father appealed on this and various other grounds. He argued he did not have the ability to pay the modified amount. The appellate court upheld the decision. Unless there is an equitable reason, a modified support order should start in the first day of the month following the filing date of the modification action. The appellate court found evidence in the record to support Jason’s ability to pay the amount: while unemployed at the time of trial, he had been consistently employed, he could meet his other financial obligations, and he and  his new wife had purchased a home and taken vacations.