Peck v. Peck (Nebraska 2021)

No. A-20-919 (Neb. Ct. App. 2021)
November 2021

Earning capacity can be used to determine income instead of a parent’s actual income. To get credit for health insurance premiums, a parent must provide proof of the cost. The mother appealed the final order in a proceeding to modify custody and support. She appealed several provisions including the child support calculation, arguing the court incorrectly used her earning capacity as her income and granted the father credit for contributing to the children’s health insurance premium. The appellate court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The lower court correctly used the mother’s earning capacity to set her income. She had worked prior to choosing to stay at home with the children. She was currently in school and by her testimony planned to work again. It was not speculative to use her earning capacity as her income for child support. The lower court abused its discretion in giving the father a credit for payments toward the children’s health insurance as part of its equitable power. The statute clearly states the parent must provide proof of the cost of coverage, which the father didn’t provide.