Welcome to the YoungWilliams Research & Case Law Library.  Use the filters below to select categories of interest to you.  Currently our Library consists of academic and government research articles and reports from around the country, federal opinions, and case law from states in which our full service child support projects are located: Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Wyoming.  Sign up to receive updates by clicking the blue  box at the left of the page.

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Research & Case Law

Civil Contempt of Court for Child Support Noncompliance at the PJAC Demonstration Sites

February 2021

The federal Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) demonstration project was a federally-funded project to study the effectiveness of using procedural justice methods to enforce child support orders. Civil contempt is a possible enforcement tool. This brief considers the application of procedural justice methods to the contempt process. Contempt is an enforcement tools of last resort and is historically adversarial. Several of the PJAC sites worked with the courts to soften the adversarial nature in an attempt to make the process feel fair and to ensure parents had their questions answered.

Parenting Time and Child Support: Information for Fatherhood Programs and Fathers

February 2021

Fatherhood programs play an important role in helping fathers understand and address legal issues such as child support and supporting the fathers in building relationships with their children and coparent. While child support and visitation are separate legal issues, research shows the two are by nature connected and benefit each other.

Julie C.W. v. Frank Mitchell W. Jr. (Tennessee 2021)

February 2021

The trial court has discretion over deviations from presumptive child support. In this divorce proceeding, there was a large income disparity. The father was an extremely high earner. The mother requested an upward deviation in child support. The final decree set support at the presumptive amount and ordered the mother to pay 10 percent of the uncovered medical. The decree acknowledged the father’s agreement to pay for the children’s private school tuition and up to $600 per month for extracurricular activities. The mother appealed.

Mercer v. Chiarella (Tennessee 2021)

February 2021

The court of appeals will not consider issues of first impression on appeal. The divorce decree ordered the father pay child support. He filed to modify based on a decrease in his income. The father’s main source of income was interest on loans he made to other people. As the principal balance of the loans decreased, so did the amount of interest the father received. The court entered an order modifying support down based on his 2019 income. 

Brown v. Brown (Wyoming 2021)

February 2021

Unless an order contains the required findings, a child support order is assumed to be presumptive support and only requires a change in amount for modification. The original divorce decree ordered the father to pay support. He later filed to modify the divorce decree. The final order modified support based on an increase in the support amount sufficient to meet the required twenty percent change. The father appealed.

Kelly v. Kelly (Nebraska 2021)

February 2021

Child support orders set under the guidelines are presumably correct. The divorce decree in this case ordered the father to pay child support. The amount included an upward deviation to account for the father’s share of expenses. The father was also ordered to provide health insurance. In 2018, The father lost his job, and the mother began providing health insurance. The mother filed to modify custody and support and the father counterclaimed. In the order for modification, specific to support, the trial court used the father’s proposed calculation to set support, which used the mother’s 2018 income rather than her current, actual income. The order discontinued the deviation and set out a detailed expense sharing plan. The trial court declined to give the mother retroactive credit for her provision of health insurance. The mother appealed.

Sears v. Sears (Wyoming 2021)

February 2021

An award of retroactive support is subject to the court’s discretion. The parents filed for divorce, and the district court didn’t order child support during the pending action. The parents agreed to a custody arrangement during the pendency of the action. In the order accepting the arrangement, the court didn’t order support and noted the parents were sharing custody and splitting uncovered medical expenses. The father was also paying the children’s health insurance. The final divorce decree ordered the father to pay support going forward but didn’t award retroactive support. The mother appealed.

Baker v. Baker (Tennessee 2021)

January 2021

 The definition of income for child support doesn’t include alimony paid to a party in the proceeding. Military retired pay is marital property, subject to property distribution and is not income for child support. The parents in this case, who had two children, divorced. The father was active military but had plans to retire. In the final decree, the district court ordered the father to pay alimony until his retirement, at which time the mother would receive her share of the father’ s military retirement directly. The district court didn’t credit the father for either of these payments as part of his income for child support. The father appealed the final divorce decree arguing that the trial court should have credited him for the alimony, the retirement benefits, and health insurance premium.

Yeutter v. Barber (Nebraska 2021)

January 2021

Incarceration doesn’t completely relieve a parent from paying child support. The parents had one child and under their paternity decree, the father didn’t pay support. The father filed to modify custody, and the mother crossclaimed for a modification of custody and child support. By the time of the trial, the father was incarcerated. The trial court granted the mother’s request for current and retroactive support. The father appealed the final order.

Mahlendorf v. Mahlendorf (Nebraska 2021)

January 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. 

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