Welcome to the YoungWilliams Research & Case Law Library.  Use the filters below to select categories of interest to you.  Currently our Library consists of academic and government research articles and reports from around the country, federal opinions, and case law from states in which our full service child support projects are located: Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Wyoming.  Sign up to receive updates by clicking the blue  box at the left of the page.

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Research & Case Law

Marriage of Weekes (Colorado 2020)

January 2020

Statutes operate prospectively unless the language indicates otherwise. A law is unconstitutionally retrospective if it infringes on a vested right. The father filed to modify his child support based on a physical change of custody that happened without a court order. Current Colorado law limits retroactive modification of child support to the five years prior to the filing of the motion with an exception if the outcome is shown to be unjust and/or inappropriate. If the exception is applied, the date can go back further than five years. The father filed to modify well after the child had emancipated. The court denied the motion to modify as untimely, and the father appealed.

Kibbe. v. Kibbe (Tennessee 2020)

January 2020

The court has discretion to craft a child support award that will best support a child with extraordinary medical needs as long as the court considers all available resources. The parents’ initial divorce decree addressed the needs of their special needs child. The mother primarily cared for the child, and the father was granted visitation. Several years later, the father filed to modify alimony and/or eliminate alimony or, alternatively to reduce alimony in relation to any increase in child support. The trial court heard testimony that the father rarely visited the child. The mother couldn’t leave the child without care, so she worked when the child was at school.

2019 Employer Symposium Report

January 2020

At the annual 2019 conference, the National Association of Child Support Directors (NCCSD) brought together a group of child support professionals and employers to discuss ways to improve communication, cooperation, and processes between the program and employers. This report summarizes the discussion and sets out the action items. The goals of the Symposium included, but were not limited to, making employers aware of state resources, discussing major trouble spots for employers, addressing improvements to lump sum, and learning more about the gig economy.

Wrubluski v. Wrubluski (North Carolina 2020)

January 2020

A parent can’t modify child support without a court order. The husband and wife divorced, and the wife was granted custody of their children. Two of the children began to live with the father. He began paying half of the support amount. He eventually filed to modify custody and support. Post-divorce litigation ensued. After several hearings, the trial court granted his motion, set a new support obligation, and entered a judgment for arrears. The husband appealed the arrears judgment.

Berens v. Berens (North Carolina 2020)

January 2020

A court doesn’t abuse its discretion in imputing income to a parent as long as evidence supports the determination. The mother and the father filed for divorce. After several years, the trial court entered an order a final decree, which set support for three children. Both parents appealed the child support provisions. The mother argued the trial court erred in imputing income to her. She didn’t work and had been the children’s primary caregiver.

Meetings and Reminders Testing Approaches to Increase Child Support Payments in Colorado

January 2020

A long-standing issue in the child support program is the lag time between order entry and the first child support payment. It can be attributed to the wait in getting income withholding in place. Many parents don’t realize that not paying during this window can build up arrears. The Colorado Division of Child Support Services received a Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) grant to implement an intervention designed to increase the payments on new orders. Colorado established orders both administratively and judicially. Under the intervention, child support specialists met with newly ordered payors one-on-one to review their orders.

Descher v. Descher (Mississippi 2020)

January 2020

For parents with high incomes, the child support guidelines allow for a deviation when applying the guidelines isn’t reasonable. The parents filed for divorce. The father owned and/or co-owned businesses that earned millions of dollars in revenue each year. The chancery court determined his monthly adjusted gross income to be $71,377.00. The mother worked for the business and earned substantially less. The chancery court calculated support using the statutory guidelines of twenty percent of the father’s income, but then reduced the monthly support amount to $7,500.00. The father appealed the support calculation among other issues.

Donahoe v. Donahoe (Nebraska 2020)

January 2020

For self-employed parents, certain expenses may be treated as income for child support. The parents filed for divorce. The father is the sole owner of a business, which is organized as an S-Corporation. For 2016, he reported compensation on his personal tax return, not as a salary on his business return. This meant he wouldn’t be treated as an employee of his business. The mother’s expert testified that as a result certain deductions he took on his business return for personal expenses should be treated as income to him because they no longer qualified as business expenses. In addition, the business made cash payments to the father, which should be counted as income.

Carter v. Thompson (Nebraska 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.

Clark v. Clark (Nebraska 2020)

January 2020

The trial court has discretion over when to make a child support obligation retroactive. The mother and father filed for divorce and entered into an agreement that resolved all issues. For child support, the parents agreed that the mother would receive the tax dependency exception for three years straight instead of retroactive support. The mother objected to the child support amount in the proposed order. The trial court eventually reopened the evidence with respect to the father’s income. During this hearing, the mother argued for child support retroactive to the month after the filing of the divorce petition. The trial court declined, and the mother appealed.