Types of Custody in Nebraska
A custody battle can be a time of overwhelming emotion and confusion. You do not want to find yourself lost in the process as this affects your relationship with maybe the most precious thing in your life: your children.
Child custody laws protect both parents and children. Without setting up custody through the court and being represented by a good attorney, you can put yourself or your child at risk.
Custody can protect a child from a neglectful or abusive parent. It also protects a loving relationship from alienation due to a spiteful mom or dad.
Most often, Nebraska courts choose to give parents joint custody of the child(ren). This means that both parents get rights to the child. But, the rights differ depending on the kinds of custody awarded by the judge.
Joint Legal Custody
This type of joint custody gives both parents the legal authority to make major life decisions for their child(ren). This means that the judge grants both parents equal authority to make decisions regarding religion, education, health care, and legal issues.
Work with your attorney to make specific clarifications about what kind of rights to your child you hope for. Keep in mind that joint legal custody differs from joint physical custody.
Joint Physical Custody
Joint physical custody, also known as shared custody, means that the court deems both parents responsible for the child’s physical well being. This also means that the child lives with both parents.
Custody laws in Nebraska do not favor one parent over the other due to sex. So, without extenuating circumstances, they try to award 50/50 joint custody when possible.
This type of custody is favored because it allows the child(ren) to build an equal relationship with both parents. Research suggests that shared custody is the least stressful for children when considering different kinds of child custody.
Schedules can vary based on the parents’ schedules and child’s needs. Some may do Monday, Wednesday, and every other weekend with one parent and Tuesday, Thursday, and the opposite weekends with the other. Others may keep a four days on three days off schedule.
Though the state of Nebraska does recognize this type of custody, they try to avoid granting it in most cases. Split custody means that each parent receives custody of a different child or number of children.
So, siblings live separately from one another most or all of the time. Split custody may also be shared custody, meaning that the parents simply swap the kids by schedule.
It may allow parents to spend more quality one on one time with each child separately, but it also hurts the sibling relationship. Courts only award this in very rare instances.
Another type of custody that Nebraska recognizes, but courts avoid if possible is sole custody. This means that only one parent receives custody of the child.
The parent with sole custody makes all decisions regarding the child’s wellbeing. The child also physically lives with them full time.
The non-custodial parent, on the other hand, cannot make any legal decisions regarding the child. This means they cannot sign on their behalf, enroll them in school, or make big medical decisions.
A non-custodial parent may or may not see the child, depending on the circumstances that shaped this decision. Though, the Nebraska court system does not like to alienate a child from their parent unless completely necessary.
They may set up a visitation schedule for them to see each other at the parent’s home or in a designated place. In safe situations, the parent may get overnights every other weekend. But, the child does not actually live with the non-custodial parent at all in this situation.
Guardianship laws in Nebraska require the child to reside under the care of a competent adult until they reach the age of 19. This differs from the majority of the United States, which typically considers 18 adulthood.
A court may award guardianship to somebody other than the child’s parent if both parents die or if neither can care for the child for any reason. This allows the guardian similar rights as a parent gets with joint custody. But, it differs from custody, as the courts still recognize the parents’ even though the child is removed from them.
How Do Nebraska Courts decide Child Custody?
Nebraska courts operate in the best interest of the child. They do not favor mothers over fathers or vice versa.
When parents cannot agree on joint custody, the courts intervene to decide the best course of action. They take many considerations into account.
For determining types of custody, courts will look at:
- The child’s preference
- Each parent’s relationship with the child
- The child’s ability to adapt to new situations
- Parental preference
- The mental and physical health of each parent
- All history of substance abuse, neglect, and physical or mental abuse
- The ability to provide a suitable home
Court considers all factors and often work with parents on scheduling o that the child(ren) can live with as much normalcy as possible.
Hire Your Custody Attorney Today
Determining custody for your child is no small matter. Now that you understand the types of custody, seek out an attorney who can help you navigate the court process.
We want to protect the relationship between you and your child. Call (402) 415-2525 today for a free child custody consultation.