Hobbs v. Golden (Nebraska 2020)

A-19-748 (Neb. Ct. App. 2020)
August 2020

Evidence must support the amount of income that a court attributes to a parent. The mother filed to modify custody and child support for one child. Specific to the child support issue, the father was a plumber. He testified that he earned an hourly wage or commissions, whichever was higher. A paystub entered into evidence showed he was more often paid commission than the hourly wage. The court calculated income using his hourly wage and gave the father credit for a subsequently born child and payment of health insurance premiums. The court didn’t give the mother credit for an additional child. Support was reduced. The mother appealed the final order. The appellate court reversed on the child support. The appellate court found an abuse of discretion in the determination of the father’s income. The evidence showed he made much more. His pay stub indicated gross earnings for the year so far based on commission income, not the hourly wage. His tax return also supported the higher income. The appellate court also found that there was no evidence regarding the father’s financial obligation to his infant so he shouldn’t have been given credit for that child. However, the evidence showed the mother’s financial obligation to her older child so she should have received credit.