State on behalf of Elijah K. v. Marceline K. (Nebraska 2020)
When a paternity action is brought by the state on behalf of a child, retroactive support can go back to the birth of the child. The right to retroactive support belongs to the child. The mother appealed an order of the district court setting current child support but denying her request for support retroactive to the date of the child’s birth. The district court ordered support retroactive to the first day of the month following the filing of the petition. The appellate court affirmed the order. The state filed this action on behalf of the child. Neither parent could file because the four-year statute of limitations had passed for them to file in their individual capacities. The mother answered the complaint in her individual capacity and did not allege a next friend claim. The appellate court found that while the district court had the ability to order retroactive support, the right to the support belonged to the child. In this action, only the state had the ability to appeal the award of retractive support on the child’s behalf. It didn’t. Therefore, the mother’s appeal was barred.