Child support requirements and regulations can vary from state to state. If the child moves from one state to another, the requirements for child support may change. While the states may have similar child support laws, it is important to know their variations to make sure that you do not face penalties.

Who Needs to Pay Child Support?

Child support is a monthly payment that one or both parents of a child pay to help with the cost of raising the child. In Nebraska, the non-custodial parent, or parent who spends less time with the child or children, pays child support. The custodial parent, or parent who lives with the child most of the time, tends to receive child support payments. Notwithstanding, a court can order either or both parents to make child support payments, even if they share joint custody.

How Do You Petition for Child Support?

You may apply for child support through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Within the Department is a separate unit called Child Support Enforcement (“CSE”). CSE services can help enforce an order for child support and also modify child support orders upon request. 

The application for child support is all done online through the Official Nebraska Government Website and includes the social security numbers and dates of births for you and your child or children, a copy of your court order for child support, and your child or children’s health insurance policy information. You must also supply your address and employer’s information. The address and employer information of the parent from whom you seek child support must also be disclosed. 

What If You Don’t Pay Child Support?

CSE has a number of ways to enforce overdue child support, which include, but are not limited, to:

  • Taking money directly from the paying parent’s paycheck.
  • Report the paying parent to the consumer credit bureaus, thereby damaging the parent’s credit rating.
  • If the paying parent falls three or more months behind on child support, CSE has authority to suspend the parent’s professional or occupational, hunting and fishing, and driver’s licenses.
  • CSE can refer the case to the U.S. State Department if the parent owes more than $2,500. The U.S. State Department will suspend, deny or revoke passports to travel out of the U.S.
  • CSE can intercept the paying parent’s state and federal tax returns if that parent falls three or more months behind on child support payments.
  • CSE can garnish the parent’s bank accounts and file a lien against any real estate owned by the parent which isn’t released until the parent catches up on past-due child support payments. Because of the lien the paying parent cannot sell or transfer the real estate until child support is brought current.
  • CSE can request the court take the paying parent’s property and sell it.
  • CSE can file a legal action called “contempt,” which requires the paying parent “show cause.” In other words, the paying parent must explain to a judge why child support payments have been missed. If found in contempt, the parent can serve jail time and receive a judgment which damages his or her credit.
  • CSE can charge interest on support payments that are at least 30 days past due.

What Recourse Can the Other Parent Have if You Don’t Pay for Support?

If child support payments are overdue, you can contact CSE to help you enforce child support. However, CSE is a non-judicial process and may take a long time. If you don’t want to wait for CSE to act to resolve past due child support, you can always sue for child support in family court. Family court judges can issue orders to help enforce and collect child support that is due. 

How Can You Stop Paying Child Support?

The paying parent must pay child support until the age of emancipation. In Nebraska, that age is 19 years old. If the child marries, dies, or is emancipated before then, he or she is no longer entitled to child support, even if the child is under age 19. In that case, the parent must petition the court to stop paying child support. If the child reaches the age of emancipation, the paying parent need not do anything to stop being required to pay child support.

Where Can You Find the Right Lawyer?

If you need help with child support, whether to petition the order, adjust the other, or to stop it completely, then contact a Nebraska child support lawyer today to get the help you need.