Ewing v. Evans (Nebraska 2019)

No. A-18-083 (Neb. Ct. App. 2019)
May 2019

To modify a child support order, a change in circumstances must occur after the entry of the original order. A parent who shows a change of 10 percent or more in the support, which amounts to at least $25, creates a rebuttable presumption that the order should be modified. Shortly before the parents’ divorce was final, the father was disabled in a work-related incident. He suffered from a traumatic brain injury as well as other injuries. About a year later, the father filed to modify support. To support a substantial change of circumstances, he testified as to the extent and effect of his injuries, his ongoing treatment, and his inability to hold down a job because of his injuries. His only income was from benefits from Veterans’ Affairs. The district court denied his request, stating that his injury existed at the time of the divorce and was not a material change of circumstances. The father appealed. The court of appeals reversed and remanded the case. The court of appeals noted that the father created the necessary rebuttable presumption of a material change of circumstances, and the mother showed no evidence to rebut it. The appellate court found that the father’s disability was not temporary, and he was continuing treatment. The court of appeals remanded for an order with a finding that the father showed a substantial change of circumstances and that the order be modified back to the date of filing.