June 2018 | No. A-17-537 (Neb. Ct. App. 2018)

Silver v. Silver (Nebraska 2018)

If payment of a child support obligation leaves a parent with a net income below the poverty line, Nebraska courts can consider specific costs related to supporting the child to get the parent back above the line. Supervised visitation is not one of those costs. An award of retroactive support must take into account the parent’s ability to pay. The father appealed a modification order which didn’t credit him for the cost of supervised visitation and set an award of retroactive support. He argued that the support order left him below the poverty line, and that he should get a dollar for dollar credit for the visitation costs. The court of appeals denied his request, stating that supervised visitation costs did not fall in the definition of support for the child. The father ignored professional advice that would have helped him graduate to unsupervised visitation. Because the order did not take into account the father’s ability to pay the retroactive support judgment as ordered, the court remanded the order for further findings.

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