Clark v. Clark (Nebraska 2020)

No. A-19-195 (Neb. Ct. App. 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. On appeal, she argued that the father withheld information about additional income. Had she known about the income, she wouldn’t have agreed to take the three years of tax dependency exemptions in lieu of retractive support. The appellate court upheld the decision. It found that the father didn’t withhold the information and while the father might not have been forthcoming with the details, the mother knew the income existed. She could have done discovery or asked more questions.