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Anderson v. Anderson

Supreme Court of Nebraska

April 3, 2015

WADE B. ANDERSON, APPELLANT,
v.
OLIVE N. ANDERSON, APPELLEE

Page 114

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 115

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 116

Appeal from the District Court for Washington County: JOHN E. SAMSON, Judge.

Andrew M. Ferguson, of Carlson & Burnett, L.L.P., for appellant.

Karen S. Nelson, of Schirber & Wagner, L.L.P., for appellee.

HEAVICAN, C.J., WRIGHT, CONNOLLY, STEPHAN, MCCORMACK, MILLER-LERMAN, and CASSEL, JJ.

OPINION

Page 117

[290 Neb. 532] Connolly, J.

SUMMARY

Olive N. Anderson, a Filipino national, moved to Nebraska and married Wade B. Anderson after meeting him through an online dating service. Their marriage soured, and the court entered a dissolution decree giving Wade custody of their only child. Wade argues that the court ordered Olive to pay child support that is too low and ordered him to pay alimony that is too high. Wade further contends that the court erred by failing to require Olive to pay part of the childcare and nonreimbursed medical expenses, allowing Olive to claim the dependency exemption in even-numbered years, and awarding Olive attorney fees. We conclude that the court abused its discretion by ordering Wade and Olive to alternate the dependency exemption, but otherwise affirm.

BACKGROUND

Factual Background

Wade met Olive through an online dating service. Wade lived in Blair, Nebraska, and Olive lived in the Philippines with her parents. Wade made a 10-day trip to the Philippines in 2007, during which Olive conceived a child. In July 2008, Olive gave birth to a girl in the Philippines. Wade was not present for the birth but sent Olive money.

Wade started " naturalization proceedings" for his daughter after a paternity test showed that he was her father. In July 2009, Wade brought Olive and their daughter to his home in Blair. Wade testified that Olive came to the United States on a " fiancee visa." Wade and Olive married in October 2009.

Olive testified that she had never been away from her family before she moved to Blair. Olive said that she had friends and " a lot of extended family" in the Philippines, and " felt sad and fear" about leaving them.

Page 118

Olive stated that she came to Nebraska so that both parents could raise her child and because Wade promised to " give [her] a better life" and help her pursue higher education. [290 Neb. 533] Wade testified that he discussed college with Olive before she came to the United States. Olive testified that she would not have left her " support system" in the Philippines without these promises.

Olive has the Filipino equivalent of a high school diploma but said that her degree is not " recognize[d]" in the United States. The record shows that her lack of education limits her job opportunities. Olive speaks English, but Visayan is her " primary language."

Wade is an electrician with 20 years' experience. He is paid $31.75 an hour and works about 40 hours per week. Wade has been " steadily employed" despite some " periodic" layoffs, the most recent of which occurred in 2012. Wade said that he had to work a " supplemental job" in 2012, and his tax filings show that he earned ...


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