Porter v. Porter (Nebraska 2021)

308 Neb. 167 (2021)
May 2021

To be considered final and appealable, an order must affect a substantial right. The mother filed to modify child support and served the father, who appeared at the initial hearing. He failed to appear at a later hearing and the court entered a default judgement against him for support. The father filed to vacate or alter the order, and the trial court set aside the judgment. The mother appealed. The Supreme Court found it lacked jurisdiction to consider the order in that it was not final. To be considered final, an order must affect a substantial right. The mother argued she hadn’t received support in several years and this order obligated the father to pay support. The order would force her to start the process over. The Supreme Court found this argument sympathetic but unpersuasive. Setting aside the default only means the father has a chance to defend the action. The mother’s right to support isn’t compromised.