Toro v. Toro (Nebraska 2021)
A trial court’s determination of income won’t be disturbed on appeal without a clear abuse of discretion. The parents filed for divorce. They had two children. The court had to calculate the father’s net monthly income for support. He worked construction and took side jobs for cash. He submitted his income tax returns for the last three years. The trial court used his 2019 tax return to calculate his monthly income and found the father has an earning capacity of $60,000. The father appealed, arguing the court should have averaged his income for the past three years. The appellate court affirmed. First, the father didn’t work a complete year in 2017, so it wouldn’t have been appropriate to include that amount in an average. His gross receipts for 2018 and 2019 were around $60,000. There wasn’t enough difference to warrant an average. It could have been an abuse of discretion to use gross receipts as income because that amount doesn’t account for allowable business deductions. However, the trial court may have questioned some of his deductions, including deductions for car expenses that fluctuated widely.