Riegl v. Lemond (Nebraska 2019)
The Nebraska Child Support Guidelines allow a court to consider a parent’s earning capacity when setting income for child support. The parents filed for divorce. The father, a union electrician, was ordered to pay temporary support. The court set the amount based on the father’s self-reported hourly wage. At the divorce trial, the court heard testimony about the father’s income and requested his tax returns for the preceding three years. In the final order, the court used an average income for the past three years to set child support. The court also refigured the amount of temporary support based on the information found in the tax returns and ordered an arrearage payment. The father appealed, arguing that his current employment wasn’t guaranteed to continue. The court of appeals upheld the income determination. It found that father wasn’t honest about about his income. His tax returns showed a higher income than he reported during the initial hearing, and he failed to provide a paystub from his current employer despite repeated requests.