Mahlendorf v. Mahlendorf (Nebraska 2021)
A consent judgement is not subject to appellate review. The original divorce decree had been modified several times to reflect various changes. The first modification allowed the mother to move from Nebraska. The father was awarded a deviation in support to account for his travel costs to see the children in Tennessee. The parents modified the order a second time and carried the deviation for travel expenses forward. The mother filed to modify the decree a third time. The mother requested an increase in support due to higher incomes and the deviation be eliminated. After a day at trial, the parents asked the court to weigh in on the presented evidence. The judge indicated he was skeptical that the evidence would show a substantial change but made it clear that he hadn’t made a decision and wouldn’t until the evidence closed. The parents then negotiated a settlement agreement. Support increased but the deviation for travel continued. The court entered the order. The mother appealed arguing the father shouldn’t receive the travel cost deviation when the evidence showed he wasn’t exercising his visitation. The Supreme Court moved this appeal to its docket and affirmed the judgment. The Supreme Court initially addressed the fact the order was a consent judgment. The order language indicated both parents were represented by counsel during the negotiation and the trial court entered the agreement at their request. The judgment contained no independent ruling on a disputed issue for the appellate court to review.