Patterson v. Patterson (Nebraska 2021)
When projecting income for child support, evidence must support the projection. In this divorce action, the father was a dentist. To determine his income for child support, the district court averaged his income from 2017, 2018, and for six months of 2020. The parents’ 2019 tax return was not complete at the time of trial. Using the average income, the district court set support. The mother appealed arguing the district court erred both the method and calculation of the father’s income. The appellate court found no abuse of discretion in the decision to average the father’s income but found the calculation was error. To determine his income for 2020, the district court used six months of earnings. No evidence indicated this would be his entire income for the year. The appellate court remanded the case for a new child support calculation and laid out several options.