Stockdale v. Rehal (Nebraska 2019)
A district court has discretion to retroactively adjust a temporary child support obligation. The never-married parents in this case separated, and a temporary child support obligation was established. For the final order, the court set the father’s income at an amount higher than the amount used for the temporary order, which increased the amount of child support. The court declined to modify the order retroactive to the date of the temporary order. The father appealed the income calculation, and the mother cross-appealed on the issue of retroactivity. The appellate court found no abuse of discretion in the court’s determination of the father’s income. The appellate court also found no abuse of discretion in the decision not to retroactively increase the temporary amount. Temporary child support orders are not appealable until the appeal from the final order. The mother argued that she had presented evidence to the court at the time of the temporary hearing that supported the higher income amount. The court’s adoption of the higher income figure for the final ordrder confirmed her position during the temporary hearing and the temporary amount should be modified accordingly. The appellate court found the lower amount was reasonable for the temporary award based on the available evidence at that time.