Hodgen v. Hodgen (Nebraska 2019)

No. A-19-285 (Neb. Ct. App. 2019)
November 2019

A child support abatement will be granted when the parent meets the criteria in the decree. The parents divorced, and the decree contained a provision that allowed the father to abate his child support during June, July, and August as long as he had the children for visitation 28 days or more during the summer. In October 2018, the father filed for an abatement of child support for his summer visitation. The mother objected, arguing that granting the abatement would leave her in a precarious financial situation. The trial court denied the abatement, and the father appealed. The court of appeals reversed. On appeal, the father argued that the mother was essentially requesting to modify the decree, but hadn’t followed the correct procedure. The appellate court agreed. The court found no summons for a modification petition in the file. The court further stated that under these facts, a modification wouldn’t be granted. The trial court knew the mother’s financial situation at the time of the trial, and there was no additional testimony at the abatement hearing that showed a change.