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6 Reasons why you need a lawyer for child support cases

6 Reasons Why You Need a Lawyer for Child Support Cases

Child support cases can be complex. The right attorney can help you create a child support agreement you feel comfortable with and that is in the best interests of your child.

Like many states, Nebraska allows parents to act pro se, or represent themselves, in child support cases. However, there are many reasons you should have an attorney to represent you and protect your children’s interests. Here are the top 6 reasons you need a lawyer for child support in Nebraska:

1. A contempt action to enforce child support can lead to jail time.

When you file a motion to request enforcement on a child support order, a contempt action is issued by the judge. The judge can hold the delinquent parent in contempt, which can come with a jail sentence. 

Because a jail sentence is possible, the delinquent parent could get a free public defender if they can prove they are financially destitute. You, however, will have to pay for your own attorney. Usually when a public defender is assigned, and the petitioner does not have an attorney, the petitioner is at a disadvantage as they are held to the same standard as an attorney who is licensed to practice, and the case can be dismissed without changes or enforcement.

2. Paperwork is detailed, pecific, and difficult for the average person.

You can file your paperwork pro se, but that truly means that you are on your own. There is no help with forms from court clerks or other court employees. These entities are barred from providing assistance with forms because the court is supposed to be 100% unbiased. Giving assistance to one parent and not the other jeopardizes the authority and jurisdiction of the court to hear the case. 

Good lawyers for child custody and child support are more than happy to help you complete paperwork for enforcement or modification of the child support order they helped you get. Some attorneys offer Limited Scope Representation for assistance in filling out forms while you represent yourself in court to cut costs. However, it is well worth the peace of mind to let the attorney handle all aspects of the case for you.

3. Rules regarding child support orders and enforcement vary by district court.

Familiarity with the child support laws in Nebraska is not sufficient to argue your own case in an enforcement or modification hearing. Even if you have been through modification or enforcement proceedings in the past, hiring an attorney is important because each district has their own rules. While some things remain the same across the state, different districts have different rules regarding modification or enforcement. Only a skilled lawyer for child support can meet all of the requirements regardless of district. 

4. Child support formulas are complex, and the math is difficult.

It is difficult for the average person to understand how child support is calculated well enough to calculate it on their own. These totals are achieved by analyzing income and expenses of both parents, as well as the needs and expenses of the children and how much time each parent spends with the child. There may be other factors depending on the district.

It is very important that the papers you file with the court are 100% accurate and complete, including amounts and percentages for child support, health insurance, and daycare. It takes an experienced lawyer for child support to ensure these numbers are accurate.

5. Losing an enforcement action or modification costs more than an attorney.

If you are trying to collect on back child support in Nebraska, losing an enforcement action or modification hearing could cost more than an attorney. If the other parent is in arrears, paying for an attorney is preferable to not collecting the money at all. If the other parent is requesting a modification to decrease and they win, you could lose support that helps you care for your children. It is important to get it right the first time.

6. You already tried to represent yourself in a child support case and lost.

If you already lost your child support case or have failed to execute a correct filing to get a hearing, you can still get help from an attorney to correct the problem and proceed with the necessary court action. Nebraska does not limit the number of times a child support order can be modified, nor do they have limits on how frequently a child support order can be modified. This means that a new action can be filed right away to correct the situation.

Nebraska Legal Group has experts in child custody and child support cases

A lawyer for child support from Nebraska Legal Group understands the ins and outs of all district courts handling child support cases in Nebraska. We can calculate the correct child support amount, help you enforce a court order so you can care for your children, and file for modifications when appropriate. Contact our office today for additional information or to schedule a consultation.