December 2020 | 29 Neb. App. 101 (2020)

Gandara-Moore v. Moore (Nebraska 2020)

A court may use a parent’s earning capacity instead of actual income to determine child support when a parent voluntarily leaves a job. The parents filed for divorce. The trial court used mother’s earning capacity to calculate support instead of her actual income. Her actual income source was unemployment benefits. The mother appealed the child support calculation as well as other provisions of the final decree. The appellate court upheld the determination of mother’s income but found the trial court improperly gave the father credit for health insurance. The evidence showed mother voluntarily left her job and it would not be equitable to use the amount of her unemployment benefits as her income. The mother argued a car accident prevented her from working but the appellate court noted she left her job before she had the car accident. The appellate court agreed that the district court erred in giving the father credit for a health insurance deduction. He didn’t provide adequate proof of the cost of the insurance for himself and the children. The court recalculated support and modified the decree accordingly.

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