Bryant v. Bryant (Nebraska 2020)

No. A-19-224 (Neb. Ct. App. 2020)
January 2020

A district court has discretion to when figuring income for a parent who is employed less than full time as long as the evidence supports the calculation. If a parent offers evidence of an obligation to support additional children, it should be at least considered. The mother filed for divorce. The mother and father had 3 children, and then both parents were the custodial parents for children from prior relationships. To calculate support, the trial court used the mother’s actual income from her part-time job. The trial court declined to give father credit for his other children. The trial court awarded custody of the children to the mother and set the father’s support obligation. He appealed, arguing the court should have imputed the mother to a full-time job and that he should receive credit for supporting his other children. The court of appeals found the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in using the mother’s actual income. The mother had historically stayed at home and gave credible reasons for doing so. The appellate court reversed and remanded on the other issue. The appellate court found that the father had given evidence regarding his obligation to support his other children, and that the trial court stated he did not. Whether the evidence was credible or persuasive was another matter, but he did in fact present evidence that should have been considered.