Bilderback-Vess v. Vess (Nebraska 2020)

No. A-19-1136 (Neb. Ct. App. 2020)
October 2020

A finding of contempt in a child support case requires willful disobedience, which is a factual determination. It must be impossible for a parent to pay support. The district court found the father in contempt for failure to child support and alimony. The father’s business failed, and he stopped making support payments. A portion of the support was paid through his military retirement. The father appealed arguing that he did not have assets sufficient to cover his child support and alimony. The appellate court affirmed the order. Evidence from the trial showed that while he had financial issues, it wasn’t impossible for him to pay support. He owned several vehicles, motorcycles, and had taken ongoing trips to the casino even after he stopped paying support. He knew his business was in trouble and he took no action to pay support, including finding another job.